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, 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN 



nf a Itrgm 



Being Excerpts from Rare, Curious and Diverting 

Books, some now for the First Time done into 

English. To which are added Copious 

Explanatory Notes and Bibliographical 

References of Interest to Student, 

Collector and Psychologist: the 

Whole Introduced, Compiled 

and Edited by L. and C. 

B R O V A N , 



LONDON : MCMXXII. Printed for 

Members of the BROVAN SOCIETY by 

Private Subscription and for Private Circulation Only. 



CONTENTS. 

Page 

VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 19 
THE ENCHANTED RING: 

Of a Young Husband who Sought to 
Redeem his Yard from Pawn, and of 
the Divers Adventures that Befell him 
in his Quest 43 

VARIANT: 

Of a Tailor who Consented to Sin with 
a certain Woman who Admired his 
Proportions; and how they Fared 52 

THE INSTRUMENT: 

Of a Young Girl who Desired her Lover 
to Buy a Better Instrument, which she 
Enjoyed, Lost and Found again 57 

EXCURSUS TO THE INSTRUMENT. 58 
THE TIMOROUS FIANCEE: 

Of a Maid who would Wed None save 
Ivan the No-Yard; and how they were 
Wed, after which she first Hired, then 
Bought, a Good Yard from Ivan's Uncle 59 

EXCURSUS TO THE ENCHANTED 
RING, THE INSTRUMENT, and THE 
TIMOROUS FIANCEE 64 

ADVENTURES WITH HEDVIGE and 
HELENE AT GENEVA: 

Of an Adventure with two Charming 
Cousins, one of whom Desired to know 



CONTENTS 

Page 

why a Deity could not Impregnate a 
Woman; and how the Hero of our Story 
gave Demonstration of Theological and 
other Matters 66 

EXCURSUS to ADVENTURES WITH 
HEDVIGE AND HELENE 79 

THE DAMSEL AND THE PRINCE: 

Of a Young Lady, who, being En- 
amoured of a Prince, Sendeth for one 
of his Chaplains, and with him Entereth 
into a Plot which Bringeth the Affair to 
the Desired Issue 84 

EXCURSUS TO THE DAMSEL AND 
THE PRINCE __ 91 

THE PENITENT NUN: 

Of a Nun, who Strove to Flee the Shafts 
of Love; how she Succeeded; and how 
certain Young Nuns Received her 
Counsel 94 

BEYOND THE MARK: 

Of a Shepherd who Made an Agree- 
ment with a Shepherdess that he should 
Mount upon her; and how he Kept that 
Agreement 95 

THE DEVIL IN HELL: 

Of a Young Maid, who, Turning Her- 
mit, was Taught by a Monk to Put the 
Devil in Hell; and how she found Much 
Pleasure therein 98 

8 



CONTENTS 

Page 

EXCURSUS to THE DEVIL IN HELL. 105 

THE WEDDING NIGHT OF JEAN 
THE FOOL: 

Of a Young Husband who thought his 
Wife would Give him a Chicken on 
their Wedding Night; and how he 
Learned in what Fashion he must Com- 
port himself to have that Chicken 107 

THE MAIDEN WELL GUARDED: 

Of a Maid who had been most Strictly 
Enjoined to Guard her Maidenhead; 
and how a Youth Restored it to her 
when she Lost it Ill 

VARIANT: 

Of one Coypeau, who Securely Sewed 
up a Damsel's Maidenhead with his own 
Thread 1 14 

TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN: 

Of a Prince and a Princess who became 
Acquainted in Strange Circumstances; 
of their Loves, Separation, Re-union, 
and divers Remarkable Happenings 116 

EXCURSUS to the TALE OF KAMAR 
AL-ZAMAN 134 

THE FOOL: 

Of a Young Man who would fain have 
Wed, yet Contrived to Satisfy his Wish 
without Marriage 143 



CONTENTS 

Page 

"OH MOTHER, ROGER WITH HIS 
KISSES": 

Of the Emotions of an Innocent Virgin 
when Wooed Boisterously by her Swain 145 

FOOLISH FEAR: 

Of a Virgin Wife who did not Under- 
stand the Business of Marriage; and 
how the Parties went to Law, and what 
Ensued therefrom 146 

THE PRINCESS WHO PISSETH OVER 
THE HAYCOCKS: 

Of a King's Daughter, the Like of 
whom was not Seen Elsewhere on Earth; 
and how she was Cured of her Ways by 
a Young Peasant, divers Physicians and 
Charlatans having Failed in the Task. ... 153 

THE COMB: 

Of a Pope's Daughter who was 
"Combed" by a Peasant; and how the 
Comb was Lost and Found again, 
together with other Strange and De- 
lightsome Happenings 158 

EXCURSUS TO THE PRINCESS WHO 
PISSETH OVER THE HAYCOCKS 
AND THE COMB 163 

THE SKIRMISH: 

Of a Virgin who, on her Marriage Eve, 
told a Wedded Friend of the Recent 
and Disturbing Conduct of her Fiance. 166 

10 



CONTENTS 

Page 

EXCURSUS TO THE SKIRMISH 174 

THE NIGHTINGALE: 

Of a Maid who would fain Hear the 
Nightingale Sing; and how she Made it 
Sing many Times and even Held it in 
her Hand 176 

THE PIKE'S HEAD: 

Of a Young Virgin who Played a Trick' 
on a Youth; and how the Youth, from 
Fear of being "Bitten" was for some 
Time Ignorant of the Pleasure of 
Marriage 184 

THE LOVELY NUN and HER YOUNG 
BOARDER: 

Of a Lovely Young Virgin, who was of 
an Inquisitive Turn of Mind, and 
Proved herself an Apt Pupil in the 
School of Love. . 189 

JOHN ANND JOAN: 

Of a Serving Wench who sent her 
Fellow Servant to Buy her a Steel; and 
how she Fared thereafter 200 

THE HUSBAND AS DOCTOR: 

Of a Young Squire who, when he Mar- 
ried, had never Mounted a Christian 
Creature; of the Means found to In- 
struct him; and how, on a Sudden, he 
Wept at a great Feast shortly after he 
had been Instructed 204 

11 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS 



15 



Cloe! Like a fawn she flees, 

Trembling, timid mother-seeking, 

Far among the trackless hills; 
Starting back from bush and breeze, 

When the new-born spring is speaking 

To green leaves in little trills. 
Oh, how shake her heart, her knees! 
Run! A lizard sets a-creaking 

That big bush! I bring no ills; 
I don't follow you to seize, 

Like some cruel tigress, reeking 

Rage; no lion I that kills 
In Gxtulia, hot to tease 

Out your life! So quit your meeking 

By your mother! Trust your thrills! 
Come and learn my mysteries! 

HORACE, I., xxiii. 



16 



Two Hundred and fifty Copies of this Work have been 

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Only among Members of the Brovan Society, 

and Twenty-five for the Editors. None of 

these Copies is for Sale. The Society 

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nor to Re-issue in any form. 

Of the Brovan Society's 

Issue, this Copy 

is Number: 



18 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS 



TN devoting a volume to the romance and folk- 
lore of Virginity, it may not be inappropriate 
first to examine the psychology of a word and a 
quality as magical as they are misused. 

What is virginity? Is it the possession intact 
of that delicate piece of membrane, the poets' 'flos 
virginitatis/ or is it some indescribable, intangible 
attribute in on sense dependent on physical perfec- 
tion? Does it imply abstention from and ignorance 
of all sexual pleasures, or must it be a chastity 
which falls little short of stupid, even criminal, in- 
nocence? ;1 - 

To us mederns, blessed (or cursed) with a 
smattering of science, woman is virginal just as 
long as we know or believe her to be, physical qual- 
ities notwithstanding. By the poet of the past, the 
romanticist, the mediaeval lover, and the ignorant, 
physical as well as spiritual proofs were probably 
required or expected. To them, virginity was 
something tangible ; to us it is not. 

Nor is the reason far to seek. For while Have- 
lock Ellis, the greatest authority on sexual psychol- 
ogy the world has known, describes the hymen as 
having acquired in human estimation a spiritual 
value which has made it far more than a part of 

the feminine body, "something that gives 

woman all her worth and dignity, her market 

19 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

value," he goes on to point out that the presence or 
absence of the hymen is no real test of virginity. 

"There are many ways," he writes, (Studies in 
the Psychology of Sex: Philadelphia, 1914: vol. 5: 
Erotic Symbolism), "in which the hymen may be 

destroyed apart from coitus On the other 

hand, integrity of the hymen is no proof of virgin- 
ity, apart from the obvious fact that there may be 

intercourse without penetration The hymen 

may be of a yielding or folding type, so that com- 
plete penetration may take place and yet the hymen 
be afterwards found unruptured. It occasionally 
happens that the hymen is found intact at the end 
of pregnancy."* 

And while the foregoing is the exception 
rather than the rule, it goes far to prove the falli- 
bility of the physical, tangible test. 

To most of us, virginity is a quality supposedly 
prized at all times and by all races. This is far from 
the case. As Havelock Ellis points out, (op. cit.), 
virginity is not usually of any value among peoples 
who are entirely primitive. "Indeed, even in the 
classic civilisation which we inherit," he writes, "it 
is easy to show that the virgin and the admiration 
for virginity are of late growth; the virgin god- 
desses were not originally virgins in our modern 
sense. Diana was the many-breasted patroness of 
childbirth before she became the chaste and solit- 
ary huntress, for the earliest distinction would ap- 
pear to have been simply between the woman who 
was attached to a man and the woman who foll- 



Schuring, in the 17th century, notes a case of this kind. C.f. 
his Gynaecologia, where he speaks of a girl being pregnant without 
losing her virginity. Pide note, p. 100 post, where futrher details of 
the life and works of this erudite physician will be found. 

20 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

owed an earlier rule of freedom and independence; 
it was a later notion to suppose that the latter 
women were debarred from sexual intercourse." 

A French Army Surgeon, Dr. Jacobus X , 
(Untrodden Fields of Anthropology: Charles 
Carrington: Paris, 1898), has some interesting re- 
marks on the subject, and we offer no apology for 
reproducing them at length. Writing on the "Un- 
importance of the signs of virginity in the ne- 
gress," he says: 

"The Negroes of Senegal do not attach, as the 
Arabs do, considerable importance to the presence 

of the real signs of virginity in young girls 

The non-existence of the material proofs of virgin- 
ity seldom give rise to any complaint on the part of 

the husband Moreover, the size of the virile 

member of the Negro* renders it difficult for him 
to detect any trick. The black bride, on the wedding 
night, shows herself in the art of simulating the 
struggles of an expiring virginity, and it is consid- 
ered good taste for the girls to require almost to be 
raped. The least innocent young women are often 
the most clever at this game. 

"Thus, throughout nearly all Senegal, the 
European, who has a taste for maindenheads, can 
easily be satisfied, provided he is willing to pay the 
price.f At St. Louis women of ill-fame procure 
young girls, who bear the significant name of the 

*Sir Richard Burton, (The Thousand Nights and a Night}, 
describes how he measured in Somaliland a negro's penis, which, 
when quiescent, was six inches long; this organ, however, would not 
increase proportionately when in erection. 

fA celebrated Parisian courtesan used to boast, according to 
Mantegazza, that she had "sold her virginity" on 82 different oc- 
casions! Vide Curious Bypaths of History: Carrington: Paris, 1898, 
for further details on this subject. Note by Dr. Jacobus X . 

21 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

'unpierced,'* and vary from eight or nine years to 
the nubile age. It is even easier to obtain a young 
girl before she is nubile than afterwards, on ac- 
count of the certainty of her not bearing any child- 
ren. The price is within the range of all purses, 
according to quality, and you can have a negro girl, 
warranted 'unpierced' (belonging to the category 
of domestic slaves), for the modest sum of from 
eight to sixteen shillings. Of course, the respect- 
able matron pockets half this sum for her honor- 
arium 

" The 'unpierced' soon lose their right to 

the title when they have to do with a Toubab, but, 
on account of the size of their genital parts, the loss 
of their maidenhead is not such a serious affair for 
them as it would be for a little French girl who 
was not yet nubile. I have never remarked in a 
little negress, who had been deflowered by a White, 
the valvular inflammation, which, with us, is no- 
ticed as the result of premature copulation before 

the parts are sufficiently developed If the 

reader will remember that the European, who is 
below the average dimensions in regard to hispenis, 
is like a little boy in proportion to the negress of 
ten or twelve years old, it is not difficult to imagine 
that the negress he has deflowered can entirely take 
in the yard of the White, the dimensions of which 
are much less than that of the adult black. 



*C.f. The Thousand Nights and a Night, (Sir Richard F. 
Burton; the privately printed and uncastrated editions), where the 

expression is common. " He rfound her a pearl unpierced." Again: 

" went in unto the Princess and found her jewel which had been 

hidden, an union pearl unthridden, and a filly that none but he had 

ridden " Compare, also, the French erotic slang percer (to pierce), 

signifying the act of sexual intercourse. (Farmer: Slang and its 
Analogues) p. 25, vol. 6; Vocabula Amatoria, etc.) 

22 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

" When the girl has to do later with a 

negro husband, an astringent lotion will render the 
bride a pseudo-virgin. The deceived husband, not 
having the anatomical knowledge necessary to 
assure himself of the real existence of the signs of 
virginity, feels a difficulty in copulating, and is far 
from suspecting any trick.* 

"Does not much the same kind of thing prevail 
also in Europe? How many girls who have been 
deflowered get married without their husband ever 
suspecting anything, although he has not the same 
physical disadvantages that the black has to prevent 
his seeing through the trick? Is it to this amorous 
blindness that the Greeks and Romans alluded 
when they represented Cupid with a bandage over 
his eyes? One is almost tempted to believe it. 



*"The Chinese have discovered a way of forming a new 

virginity when by some accident that objecct has gone astray. The 
method consists in astringent lotions applied to the parts, the effect 
of which so draws them together that a certain amount of vigour 
is required in order to pass through, the husband on a nuptial 
night being convinced that he has overcome the usual barrier. To 
make the illusion more complete, a leech-bite is made just inside the 
critical part, and the little wound is plugged with a minute pellet 
of vegetable tinder, with the result that the effort made by the husband 
to overcome the difficulty displaces the pellet and a slight flow of 
blood ensues." (Curious Bypaths of History, op. cit. sup.) That this 
method is by no means peculiar to the Chinese is instanced by Bran- 
tome in his Lives of Fair and Gallant Ladies (Paris: Carrington, 
1901: first English translation), where the genial old soldier-philos- 
opher says: "How clever these docctors be! for they do give wo- 
men remedies to make them appear virgin and intact as they were 
opher says: "How clever these doctors be! for they do give wo- 
Take leeches and apply to the privy parts, getting them to drain and 
suck the blood in that region. Now the leeches, in sucking, do en- 
gender and leave behind little blebs or blisters full of blood. Then 
when the gallant bridegroom cometh on his marriage night to give 
assault, he doth burst these same blisters and the blood discharging 
from them ; the thing is all bathed in gore, to the great satisfaction 
of both the twain ; for so 'the honour of the citadel is saved.' " 

23 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

11 !..In opposition to those who exact the 

virginity of the bride, there are others who attach 

no importance whatever to it The ancient 

Egyptians used to make an incision in the hymen 
previous to marriage, and St. Athanasius relates 
that among the Phoenicians a slave of the bride- 
groom was charged by him to deflower the bride.* 
The Caraib Indians attached no value to virginity, 
and only the daughters of the higher classes were 
shut up during two years previous to marriage. 

"It appears that among the Chibcha Indians in 
Central America virginity is not at all esteemed; 
it was considered to be a proof that the maiden had 
never been able to inspire love. 

"In ancient Peru the old maids were the ob- 
jects of high esteem. There were sacred virgins 
called 'Wives of the Sun,' somewhat similar to the 
Roman vestals.f (The nuns of the present day, do 
they not style themselves the 'Spouses of Christ'?). 

They made a vow of perpetual chastity It is 

also said they were buried alive when they hap- 
pened to break their vow of chastity, unless indeed 



* "That this eagerness after virginity is not an original lust, 
I must, indeed, prove from the opinion of a certain remote people, 
who esteem the taking of a maidenhead as a laborious and illiberal 
practice, which they delegate to men hired for that purpose, ere 
themselves condescend to lie with their wives; who are returned 
with disgrace to their friends, if it be discovered that they have 
brought their virginity with them." The 'Battles of Venus: The 
Hague, 1760, quoted by Pisanus Fraxi in his Index Librorum Pro- 
hibitorum. Vide also post in this Study. 

t "Now as to these vows of virginity, Heliogabalus did pro- 
mulgate a law to the effect that no Roman maid, not even a Vestal 
Virgin, was bound to perpetuate virginity, saying how that the fe- 
male sex was over weak for women to be bound to a pact they could 
never be sure of keeping." (Brantome: Lives of Fair and Gallant 
Ladies.) The author of this edict was not without a knowledge of 

24 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

they could prove having conceived, not from a 
man, but from the sun. 

"Several authors worthy of credence assure us 
that these vestals were guarded by eunuchs. The 
temple at Cuzco had one thousand virgins, that of 
Caranqua two hundred. It would appear, how- 
ever, that the virginity of these vestals was not so 
very sacred after all, for the Inca Kings used to 
choose from among them concubines for themselves 
or for their principal vassals and favourite friends. 

"Marco Polo narrates how young girls were 

exposed by their mothers on the public highways 
in order that travellers might freely make use of 



sexual psychology, for we have ample evidense that some of the 
Vestals failed in their duty, which was, nominally, to guard the 
sacred fire and the Holy Things of Rome. "Far up by Porta Pia," 
says F. Marion Crawford (A<ve Roma Immortalis: London, 1903), 
"over against the new Treasury, under a modern street, lie the bones 
of guilty Vestals, buried living, each in a little vault two fathoms 
deep, with the small dish and crust and the earthen lamp that soon 
flickered out in the close, damp air." Vestal Virgins had many priv- 
ileges denied to other Roman women ; they were free for life ; they 
had a right to be present at the Emperor's games; and they were 
treated with marked respect by the highest in the land. That the 
privileges of virginity did not necessarily make for the owner's hap- 
piness is instanced by Brantome's grim story. "Maids and virgins," 
he writes (Lives of Fair and Gallant Ladies), "would seem in old 
days at Rome to have been highly honoured and privileged, so much 
so that the law had no jurisdiction over them to sentence them to 
death. Hence the story we read of a Roman Senator in the time of 
the Triumvirate, which was condemned to die among other victims 
of the Proscription, and not he alone, but all the offspring of his 
loins. So when a daughter of his house did appear on the scaffold, 
a very fair and lovely girl, but unripe years and yet a virgin, 'twas 
needful for the executioner to deflower her himself and take her maid- 
enhead on the scaffold, and only then when she was so polluted, could 
he ply his knife upon her. The Emperor Tiberius did delight in 
having fair virgins thus publicly deflowered, and then put to death, 
a right villainous piece of cruelty, pardy!" 

25 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

them.* A young girl was expected to have at least 
twenty presents earned by such prostitutions before 
she could hope to find a husband. This did not 
prevent them from being very virtuous after marri- 
age, nor their virtue from being much appreci- 
ated.! 

"Waitz assures us that in several countries of 
Africa a young girl is preferred for wife when she 
has made herself remarked by several amours and 
by much fecundity. (C.f. Havelock Ellis, op. cit., 
vol. 6: 'Equally unsound is the notion that the 
virgin bride brings her husband at marriage an 
important capital which is consumed in the first act 



*C.f. Herodotus, who tells us that in the fifth century before 
Christ every woman, once in her life, had to come to the temple of 
Mylitta, the Babylonian Venus, and yield herself to the first stranger 
who threw a coin in her lap, in worship of the goddess. The money 
could not be refused, however small the amount, but it was given as 
an offertory to the temple, and the woman, having followed the man 
and thus made oblation to Mylitta, returned home and lived chastely 
ever afterwards. (Havelock Ellis: Studies in the Psychology of Sex: 
vol. 6: Sex in Relation to Society.) Havelock Ellis has quoted Her- 
odotus in relation to prostitution, holding that its origin is to be 
found primarily in religious custom. In our opinion, the practice al- 
so merits inclusion in a catalogue of virginal folk-lore, and we are 
further justified in our view by the statement that the woman who 
so yielded herself lived chastely ever afterwards. 

t "In old times we read of a ccustom in the isle of Cyprus, 
which 'tis said the kindly goddess Venus, the patroness of that land, 
did introduce. This was that the maids of that island should go 
forth and wander along the banks, shores and cliffs of the sea, for 
to earn their marriage portions by the generous giving of their bodies 
to mariners, sailors and seafarers along that coast. These would put 
in to shore on purpose, very often indeed turning from their straight 
course by compass to land there; and so taking their pleasant refresh- 
ment with them, would pay handsomely, and presently hie them away 
again to sea, for their part only too sorry to leave such good enter- 
tainment behind. Thus would these fair maids win their marriage 
dowers, some more, some less, some high, some low, some grand, some 
lowely, according to the beauty, gifts and carnal attractions of each 
damsel." (Brantome: Lives of Fair and Gallant Ladies.) 

26 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

of intercourse and can never be recovered. That is 
a notion which has survived into civilisation, but it 
belongs to barbarism and not to civilisation. So far 
as it has any validity it lies within a sphere of erotic 
perversity which cannot be taken into consideration 
in an estimation of moral values. For most men, 
however, in any case, whether they realise it or not, 
the woman who has been initiated into the mys- 
teries of love has a higher erotic value than the 
virgin,* and there need be no anxiety on this 
ground concerning the wife who has lost her 
virginity.') 

"It was impossible," continues Dr. Jacobus 
X , "ever to find the signs of virginity among the 
Machacura women in Brazil, and Feldner ex- 
plains the reason thus : 

" 'Among them a virgin is never to be found, 
for this reason: that the mother from her daugh- 
ter's tenderest years endeavours with the utmost 
care to remove all tightness of the vagina and ob- 
stacle therein. With this end in view, the leaf of a 
tree folded in the shape of a funnel is held in the 



* "I am not surprised if the Phoenicians, according to St. Athan- 
asius, obliged their daughters, by severe laws, to suffer themselves 
before marriage to be deflowered by valets, or also that the Armenians, 
as Strabo relates, sacrificed their daughters in the temple of the God- 
dess Anaitis, with the object of being eased of their maidenheads, so 
as to be able afterwards to find advantageous marriages suited to 
their condition ; for one cannot describe what exhaustion and what 
sufferings a man has to -undergo in his first action, at all events if 

the girl be narrow It is far sweeter to have connection with a 

woman accustomed to the pleasures of love locksmith to ease the 
wards of a new lock he brings us, to save us the trouble we might 
have the first day, so had the nations of whom we spoke good reason 
for establishing such laws." (Nicolas Venette: La Generation de V- 
Amour Conjugal: Paris, 1751.) 

27 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

right hand, then while the index finger is intro- 
duced into the genital parts and worked to and fro, 
warm water is admitted by means of the funnel.' 
(Journey Across Brazil, 1828). 

"Among the Sakalaves in Madagascar the 
young girls deflower themselves, when the parents 
have not previously seen to this necessary prepar- 
ation for marriage. 

"Among the Balanti of Senegambia, one of 
the most degraded races in Africa, the girls cannot 
find a husband until they have been deflowered by 
their King, who often exacts costly presents from 
his female subjects for putting them in condition 
to be able to marry. 

"Earth, (1856), in describing Adamad, says 
that the chief of the Bagoli used to lie the first 
night with the daughters of the Fulba, a people 
under his sway. Similar facts are related of the 
aborigines of Brazil and of the Kinipeto Esqui- 
maux. 

"Demosthenes informs us that there was a 
celebrated Greek hetaira, named Maera, who had 
seven slaves whom she called her daughters, so that 
being supposed to be free a higher price was oaid 
for their favours. She sold their virginity five or 
six times over, and ended by selling the whole lot 
together. 

"The god Mutinus, Mutunus or Tutunus of 
ancient Rome used to have the new brides come 
and sit upon his knees, as if to offer him their vir- 
ginity. St. Augustine says: 'In the celebration of 
nuptials the newly wed bride used to be bidden sit 

28 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

on the shaft of Priapus.' Lactantius gives more 
precise details: 'And Mutunus, in whose shameful 
lap brides sit, in order that the god may appear to 
have gathered the first-fruits of their virginity.' It 
appears, however, that this offering was not merely 
symbolical, for when they had become wives, they 
used to return to the favourite deity to pray for 
fecundity.* 

"Arnobius also asks: ( Is it Tutunus, on whose 
huge organs and bristling tool you think it an aus- 
picious and desirable thing that your matrons 
should be mounted?' 

"Pertunda was another hermaphrodite divini- 
ty that St. Augustine maliciously proposed rather 
to name the Deus Uretundus (who strikes first) ; it 
was carried on to the nuptial bed to aid the bride- 
groom: Tertunda stands there ready in the bed- 
chamber for the aid of husbands excavating the 
virgin pit.' (Arnobius.) 

"The Kondadgis (Ceylon), the Cambodgians, 
and other peoples charged their priests with the 
defloration of their brides. 

"Jager communicated to the Berlin Anthro- 
pological Society a passage from Gemelli Cancri, 



* "According to Festus, Mutinus is a god differing wholly from 
Priapus, having a public sanctuary at Rome, where the statue was 
placed sitting with penis erect. Newly mated girls were placed in 
his lap, before being led away to their husbands, so that the deity 
might appear to have foretasted their virginity, this being supposed 
to render the bride fruitful." (Priapeias Cosmopoli, 1890.) Schurig 
(GynKcologias op. clt. sup.) instances the Indian custom of deflowering 
young brides by means of an enormous priapus in the temples. 

29 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

which mentions a stupatrio officials* practised at a 
certain period among the Bisayos of the Philip- 
pine Islands: There is no known example of a 
custom so barbarous as that which had been there 
established, of having public officials, and even 
paid very dearly, to take the virginity of young 
girls, the same being considered to be an obstacle 
to the pleasures of the husband. As a fact there no 
longer exists any trace of this infamous practice 

since the establishment of the Spanish rule, 

but even to-day a Bisayo feels vexed to find his 
wife safe from suspicion, because he concludes, 
that not having excited the desire of anyone, she 
must have some bad quality which will prevent 
him from being happy with her.' 

"On the Malabar Coast, also, there were 
Brahmins whose only religious office was to gather 
the virgin flower of young girls. These latter used 
to pay them for it, without which they could not 
find husbands. The King of Calicut himself used 
to grant the right of the first night to a Brahmin; 
the King of Tamassat grants it to the first stranger 
who arrives in the town; whereas the King of 
Campa reserves to himself the jus primx noctis] 
for all the marriages in the kingdom. (De Guber- 
natis, Histoire des voyageurs italiens aux Indes 
Orientates : Livourne, 1875.) 



* i.e., a legalised defilement or ravishing. Blondeau, in his 
Dictionnaire erotique latin-francais (Liseux: 1885), translates stupratio 

as "a combat in which one forces a beauty to yield to one's passion 

to take possession of the honour of some pretty woman the struggle 

in which woman succumb with pleasure." Stupro, the verb; stuprator, 
the noun; and stupratus, the adjective have kindred meanings. 

t An old established practice whereby newly married women 
are deflowered by others than their husbands, whether by priest, lord, 

30 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

"Warthema says that the King of Calicut, 
when he took a wife, chose the most worthy and 
learned Brahmin to deflower the maiden; for this 
service he received from 400 to 500 crowns. At 
Tenasserim fathers used to beg of their daughters 
to allow themselves to be deflowered by Christians 
or Mohammedans. 

"Pascal de Andagoya, who visited Nicaragua 
between 1514 and 1522, says that it was usual for a 
grand-priest to lie during the first night with the 
bride, and Oviedo, (1535), speaking of the Acov- 
acks and other American nations, relates that the 
wife, in order that the marriage should be happy, 
passed the first nuptial night with the priest or 
jiache, and Gomara, (1551), relates the same thing 
of the inhabitants of Cumana. 

"In Europe, young girls who are not very 
virtuous, and who have studied all the various 
forms of flirtation, are most generally passed off as 
virgins when they marry. Even when it does not 
really exist, there are many ways by which a vir- 
ginity which perhaps has been sold over and over 
again by expert and clever procuresses can be si- 
mulated. A little time before going to the nuptial 
bed, the girl inserts into her vagina a few drops of 
pigeon's blood; or in some cases she selects for her 
wedding day the last day of menstruation. A 
sponge, skillfully placed, allows the blood to flow 



or stranger. To discuss this relic of feudalism would be beyond the 
scope of a note; it is summed up briefly in the idea that the lord of 
a domain was entitled to exact tribute from his subjects in the form 
of intercourse with every bride on the first night of her marriage. 
Our readers are referred to Dr. Karl Schmidt's Jus PrimK Noctis 
(The La<w of the First Night), the most comprehensive treatise on 
the subject. 

31 



AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

at the moment of the catastrophe, when a sudden 
'Oh!' announces to the unsuspecting husband that 
the temple has been violated for the first time, and 
that the veil of the sanctum sanctorum has really 
been rent by him. Add also to these methods injec- 
tions so astringent that, at the required time, they 
will give to a prostitute, whose gap has been wid- 
ened by a thousand customers, a tightness greater 
than that of a real virgin." 

The more one examines the question, the more 
one is convinced that virginity or chastity has 
come to be regarded as a spiritual and moral asset 
only in civilised, or comparatively civilised, soci- 
ety. "In considering the moral quality of chastitiy 
among savages," writes Havelock Ellis (Studies in 
the Psychology of Sex, vol. 6, p. 147), 4t we must 
carefully separate that chastity which among semi- 
primitive peoples is exclusively imposed upon 
women. This has no moral quality whatever, for 
it is not exercised as a useful discipline, but merely 
enforced in order to heigthen the economic and 
erotic value of women. 

"Many authorities believe that the regard for 
women as property furnishes the true reason for 
the widespread insistence on virginity in brides. 
Thus A. B. Ellis, speaking of the West Coast of 
Africa (Yoruha Speaking Peoples, pp. 183 et 
seq.)j says that girls of good class are bethroded as 
mere children, and are carefully guarded from 
men, while girls of lower class are seldom beth- 
roded, and may lead any life they choose." 

Virginity in woman, it seems, has been set on 
a pedestal unsupported by history, science, or in- 
vestigation. It is obviously the outcome of man's 

32 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

desire, when he buys or acquires, to obtain unsoilcd 
goods. Comes a time, however, when the value of 
these so-called unsoiled goods grows questionable. 
Something virgin, in terms of common sense, is not 
necessarily something valuable; here enters the 
thinking, and, ultimately, the erotic, element Let 
a man fall to asking why he demands virginity, and 
he will speedily begin to realise that it is the last 
thing he requires. Virginity spells ignorance, awk- 
wardness and obstacles; maturity means under- 
standing and co-operation. Thus, by easy stages, 
we reach the conclusion, mentioned by Havelock 
Ellis and quoted above, that for most men, whether 
they realise it or not, the love-wise woman has a 
greater erotic value than the virgin.* 



BranRonoe, of course, ha* some pitiaiat reanrfcs em Ae swb- 
ieet. 10 k Lxvfs / Far mmd Gmll**t Lm&es. he devotee Ae seveaA 
Difftmrtf to Ae following topic: Cencermsmf mtrruA OMMV, vadvszt 
mmd mtuds, to cxf, *Jkith / tkes* uau be btittr them ttkfr im leme. 
"One day." writes dbe genial philosopher, "when I was at the Coort 

of Spain at Madrid, aad coaiersing with a very hoaooraMe lady_ 

die did chance to ask me thk uai ititm following: 'Which of the 
three had the greater heat of lore: widow, wife or aid?' After 
nrrcrif had told her nose rj'-" 1 the did in turn grre me hen is 
some such terms as these: -That albeit maids, with aH that heat of 
Hood that is theirs, be right weft iliinonrd to lore, jet do they not lore 
so wefl as whres aad widows. Thk b became of the great experience 
of the bnsinent the latter hare, aad the obrions fact that sapnoaag 
a man born bimd. he can never desire the gift of sight so strongly 
as he that has sweedy enjoyed the sanse a while aad then been de- 
pnveo ox a^ Later, onobag JSoccaoooL .Braaloaie aftso sa^^: xae 
widow is more paiasCakiag of the pleasare of hwc aa haadred fold 
than the wiigm, seeing Ac latter is all for dearly gaanfiag her pre- 

ooas Tirgimty aad nkaidenhead. Fvrther, virgnss be aatarally taaid, 

_ * _i s_ - - -- - - . f- .7. - 

aad aoote all m tats nmici. awKwaro aaa inept to nan tae sweet 

m soch encounters. Bat this ts not so wnan the widow, who B al 

- - _ .If - -_U * - ,1_* - * - - 

ready well practised, MM and ready in taxs ant, nanag Mag ago 
bestowed aad git en away what the virgin doth mace so awh ado 

ihoul giving. Besides all this, Ae amd doth dirjd this first as- 

saok of her ugiakjv- _ whereas widows have no soch fear, bat do 

33 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

Quotilig Westermarck (History of Human 
Marriage), he goes on to refer to the fact that the 
seduction of an unmarried girl "is chiefly, if not 
exclusively, regarded as an offence against the par- 
ents or family of the girl," and there is no indica- 
tion that it is ever held by savages that any wrong 
has been done to the woman herself. 

"Westermarck realises at the same time," adds 
Havelock Ellis, "that the preference given to vir- 
gins has also a biological basis in the instinctive 
masculine feeling of jealousy in regard to women 
who have had intercouse with other men, and espe- 
cially in the erotic charm for men of the emotional 
state of shyness which accompanies virginity." 

Here, in all probability, are the most power- 
ful reasons for the value placed on virginity; each 
reason, too, is highly practical. Who among us 
truly wants to share his most treasured possession? 
And the shy charm of virginity 'neath the attack of 
the amorous lover is as undeniable as it is indes- 
cribable. Hence the virgin's lure for the old and 
worn-out roue, who finds in her shrinking reluct- 
ance a stimulant to his erotic prowess which sym- 
pathy, boldness, even lewdness, have no power to 
furnish. That quaint old book, "Memoirs of a Wo- 
man of Pleasure," (London, 1780), gives a typical 
account of the attempt and failure of an aged rake 
to ravish the then virginal heroine of the story.* 



submit themselves very sweetly and gently, even when the assailant 
be of the roughest." 

* We can supplement these remarks by a further quotation from 
that curious work already noticed, The Battles of Venus, wherein we 
read: "This lust, then, after the untouched morsel, I take not to be 
an original dictate of nature; but consequently to result from much 

34 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

At certain times and with certain peoples the 
virgin maid has been forced about with all manner 
of safeguards up to the very hour of her marriage; 
but have these and other peoples ever troubled to 
preserve the virginity of their daughters as they 
were at pains to guard the chastitiy of their wives? 
What nation ever inflicted that ghastly contri- 
vance, the Girdle of Chastitiy, upon its virgin 
daughters? This bar to erotic pleasure was re- 
served exclusively for the potentially froward 
wife. 



experience with women, which has been demonstrated to lead to novelty 

of wishes from fastidious impotence Yet, in truth, I esteem the 

fruition of a virgin to be, with respect both to the mind and body 
of the enjoyer, the highest aggravation of sensual delight. In the 
first place, his fancy is heated with the prospect of enjoying a wo- 
man, after whom he has perhaps long sighed and has been in pursuit, 
who he thinks has never before been in bed with a man, (in whose 
arms never before has man laid), and in triumphing in the first 
sight of her virgin charms. This precious operation, then, of fancy, 
has been shown in the highest degree to prepare the body for enjoy- 
ment Secondly, his body perceives, in that of a virgin, the cause of 
the greatest aggravation of delight. I mean not only in the coyness 
and resistance which she makes to his efforts, but when he is on the 
point of accomplishing them: when arrived, as the poet sings, 'on 
the brink of giddy rapture,' when in pity to a tender virgin's sufferings, 
he is intreated not to break fiercely in, but to spare 'fierce dilaceration 
and dire pangs.' The resistance which the small and as yet unopened, 
mouth of bliss makes to his eager endeavours, serves only, and that 
on a physical principle, to strengthen the instrument of his attack, and 
concurs, with the instigation of his ardent fancy, to reinforce his efforts, 
to unite all the co-operative powers of enjoyment, and to produce an 

emission copious, rapid, and transporting 'In this case, part of 

the delight arises from considering that you feel the convulsive 

wrigglings of the chaste nymph you so long adored ' " Our acknow- 
ledgements are again due to Pisanus Fraxi, from whose Index Librorum 
Prohibitorum our extract is taken. The author of The Battles of Venus, 
it need hardly be said, is in no sense an authority; his work, indeed, 
is pornographic rather than artistic; at the same time, it is impossible 
to ignore his flashes of insight into a uestion which has exercised 
the minds of the greatest psychologists. 

35 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

Originating in the woollen band worn by the 
Spartan virgin* a garment removed for the first 
time by the husband on the wedding night these 
Girdles of Chastity, with their padlocks and keys, 
were undoubtedly in use in the fourteenth or fif- 
teenth century, and in use for an unmistakable pur- 
pose. "The first to employ this apparatus," says 
Dr. Jacobus X (Ethnology of the Sixth Sense: 
Charles Carrington: Paris, 1899), "was Francis of 
Tarrara, Provost of Padua in the fourteenth cen- 
tury. It was a belt having a central piece made of 
ivory, with a barbed narrow slit down the middle, 
which was passed between the legs and fixed there 
by lock and key. A specimen of this safety appar- 
atus is to be seen actually at the Musee de Cluny 
in Paris." 

Dr. Caufeynon, the great authority on the 
subject, believes, however, that these girdles only 
date from the Renaissance.! In his remarkable 



* Brantome, apparently, had a poor opinion of Spartan vir- 
ginity. "What kind of virtue was it?" he asks. (Lives of Fair and 
Gallant Ladies.) "Why! on their solemn feast-days the Spartan maids 
were used to sing and dance in public stark naked with the lads, and 
even wrestle in the open market place, the which however was done 
in all honesty and good faith, so History saith. But what sort of 
honesty and purity was this, we may well ask, to look on at these 
pretty maids so performing publicly? Honesty was it never a whit, 
but pleasure in the sight of them, and especially of their bodily move- 
ments and dancing postures, and above all in their wrestling; and 
chiefest of all when they came to fall one atop of the other, as they 
say in Latin: 'She underneath, he atop; he underneath, she atop.' You 
will never persuade me 'twas all honesty and purity herein with these 
Spartan maidens. I ween there is never chastity so chaste that would 
not have been shaken thereby, or that, so making in public and by 
day these feint assaults, they did not presently in privity and by night 
and on assignation proceed to greater combats and night attacks." 

*Havelock Ellis, op. cit., vol.6 : Sex in Relation to Society., 
p. 163. 

36 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

little work, La Ceinture de Chastete (Paris, 1904) , 
which contains numerous engravings and photo- 
graphic designs, he gives an illustration of the spe- 
cimen in the Musee de Cluy. Quoting Brantome 
(Lives of Fair and Gallant Ladies), he adds: 

"In the time of Henry the king there lived an 
ironmonger who brought to the fair of St. Ger- 
main a dozen of certain machines to bridle the 
parts of women; they were fashioned of iron and 
went round like a girdle, and went below and were 
closed with a key. So cleverly were they fashioned 
that it was not possible for the women, when once 
bridled, to arrive at the sweet pleasure, there being 
but a few small holes in it for pissing. 

" 'Tis said there were five or six jealous hus- 
bands, who bought these machines and bridled 
their wives with then} in such fashion that they 
might well have said 'Farewell, happy time,' had 
there not been one who bethought her of applying 
to a locksmith very skilled in his art, to whom she 
showed the machine, her own, her husband being 
then out in the fields; and he applied his mind so 
well to the matter that he made for her a false key, 
with which the lady opened or closed the machine 
at any time and when she willed. 

"The husband never discovered aught to say 
on the matter; and the lady gave herself up to her 
own good pleasure, despite her foolish, jealous, 
cuckold husband, being ever able to live in the 
freedom of cuckoldom. But the wicked locksmith 
who fashioned the false key tasted of it all! and he 
did well, so they say, for he was the first to taste 
of it. 

"They say, too, that there were many gallant 
and honest gentlemen of the court who threatened 

37 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

that ironmonger with death did he ever presume 
to carry about such merchandise; so much so that 
he was afraid and returned no more and threw 
away all the rest, and no more heard of. Wherein 
he was wise, for it were enough to lose half the 
world, for want of any body to people it, through 
such bridles, clasps and fastenings of nature abom- 
inable and detestable and enemies to human multi- 
plication." 

The troubadour Guillaume de Machault 
speaks of a key given to him by Agnes of Navarre; 
this key was obviosuly intended to unlock a girdle 
of chastity. Nicolas Chorier, in his erotic Dialo- 
gues of Luisa Sigea (Paris: Isidore Liseux, 1890), 
mentions the apparatus. Although the existence of 
such girdles has often been denied, "the presence 
of many undoubted speciments in several of the 
most important museums of Europe," says Dr. Ja- 
cobus X (Ethnology of the Sitxth Sense) , "places 
their authenticity beyond all doubt. This custom 
existed more particularly during the time of the 
Crusades, ............ but a very curious instance is men- 

tioned as having occurred as late as the middle of 
the eighteenth century, for it is recorded that the 
advocate Feydeau pleaded before the supreme 
court of Montpellier on behalf of a woman who 
accused her husband of making her undergo this 
shameful treatment (Petition against the intro- 
duction of padlocks or girdles of chastity, Mont- 



All this only goes to show that virginity and 
chastity are two very different things, and that 
the latter was obviously of more account than the 
former in the eyes of mediaeval man. Much the 
same obtains to-day. To a certain extent we seek 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

to preserve the virginity of our daughters; but is 
there any limit to the precautions with which a 
jealous husband will fence about his wife? In 
short, virginity concerns alone her who loses it; is 
any man's for the taking. Chastity is another per- 
son's property. 

This slight survey of virginity would be in- 
complete without a reference to the operation of 
infibulation* the artificial adhesion of the labia 
majora by means of a ring or stitches with a view 
to the prevention of sexual intercourse. Kisch, 
(The Sexual Life of Woman: translated by M. 
Eden Paul: London: Wm. Heinemann), quotes 
the authority of Ploss-Bartels for saying that this 
operation is practised by many peoples, among 
them the Bedschas, the Gallas, the Somalis, the in- 
habitants of Harrar, at Massaua, etc. 

"The purpose of this practise," he adds, "is to 
preserve the chastity of the girls until marriage, 
when the reverse operative procedure is under- 
taken. It the husband goes away on a journey, in 
many cases the operation of infibulation is once 
more performed upon his wifes. Slave-dealers 
also make use of this operation so as to prevent 
their slaves from becoming pregnant, it is re- 
ported, however, that the operation does not in- 
variably produce the desired effect." 



* C.f. the Latin infibulare=to clasp, buckle, or button together. 
(Smith's Latin-English dictionary.) The noun fibula can be translated: 
(1) a clasp, bcukle, pin, latchet, brace; (2) a surgical instrument 
for drawing together the edges of gaping wound; (3) a ring drawn 
through the prepuce to prevent copulation. Celsus, Martial and Juv- 
enal use the word in this sense. "The ancient Romans prevented 
actors from copulating, with the object of preserving their voices. 
Martial speaks of singers who sometimes broke the ring, and whom 
it was necessary to bring back again to the blacksmith." (Jacobus X , 
op. cit.) 

39 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

Nothing we have said or quoted, however, can 
alter the fact that virginity has been and will al- 
ways be a certain asset in civilised or semi-civilised 
communities. There is a romance attached to the 
term which neither cynicism nor materialism can 
kill. Incidentally, there is a strong business side to 
the question. Who, as we said before, wants to feel 
that his dearest possession has been shared by 
others? Who, in more modern parlance, wants 
damaged goods? 

While life lasts, the virgin maid will lure the 
normal lover, common sense and cold facts not- 
withstanding. What the poet sang and the amorous 
swain coveted in those by-gone times of pomp and 
paganism, in the days of chivalry, and even in that 
dreary early Victorian era, will be sung and covet- 
ed centuries hence. Since, new discoveries, new 
theories, new ideals, new conditions, cannot oust 
human nature, our undeniable birthright. The 
sanctity and value of virginity are traditions; and, 
as Havelock Ellis says, in that singularly beautiful 
postscript to his Studies, "there can be no world 
without traditions; neither can there be any life 
without movement. As Heracleitus knew at the 
outset of modern philosophy, we cannot bathe 
twice in the same stream, though, as we know to- 
day, the stream still flows in an unending circle. 
There is never a moment when the new dawn is not 
breaking over the earth, and never a moment when 
the sunset ceases to die. It is well to greet serenely 
even the first glimmer of the dawn when we see it, 
not hastening toward it with undue speed, nor leav- 
ing the sunset without gratitude for the dying light 
that once was dawn. 



40 



VIRGINITY AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

light-bearers, and the cosmic process is in us made 
flesh. For a brief space it is granted to us, if we 
will, to enlighten the darkness that surrounds our 
path. As in the ancient torch-race, which seemed 
to Lucretius to be the symbol of all life, we press 
forward torch in hand along the course. Soon from 
behind comes the runner who will outpace us. All 
our skill lies in giving into his hand the living 
torch, bright and unflickering, as we ourselves dis- 
appear in the darkness." 

Beautiful words, and fitting monument to a 
man who gave thirty years of his life to the pro- 
duction of a work that will live for all time. Hard- 
ly applicable to our present theme some, perhaps, 
will say. We take leave to differ. In the relations 
between man and woman all life is epitomised. 
Each bears the torch, and the race they run is the 
life they lead. To almost all is granted the chance 
to hand on the torch in living, breathing prototype. 

Let us recognize new conditions, new ideas; 
let us welcome, examine and weigh them, that none 
may say we do not 'greet serenely the dawn.' But 
let us also remember that theory cannot oust fact, 
nor materialism human nature. 

Down the ages man has altered in custom and 
habit, but in his spiritual essence not at all. Save 
for local and racial differences, humanity has 
shared the same passions of pain, sorrow, hap- 
piness, anger, laughter and lust throughout all 
time. Human nature alone does not change; our 
birthright is immutable. Human nature ever has, 
and ever will, set store by virginity. It has become 
a tradition. And without traditions, as the great 
psychologist has truly told us, there is no world. 



41 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN 



THE ENCHANTED RING.* 



TN a certain reign, in a certain kingdom, there 
"lived once on a time three peasant brethren, who 
quarrelled among themselves and divided up their 
goods; they did not share equally, and the division 
gave much to the elder brethren but very little to 
the youngest. 

All three were young lads. They went forth 
together into the courtyard, saying one to the other: 

" 'Tis time for us to wed." 

" 'Tis well enough for ye," quoth the young- 
est brother. "Ye are rich, and the rich can marry. 
But what may I do? I am poor. I have not even a 
log of wood to my name. All I have for a fortune 
is a yard which reacheth to my knees!" 

On this very moment there chanced to pass a 
merchant's daughter, who overheard these words 
and said to herself: 

"Ah that I might have this young man for 
a husband! He hath a yard that reacheth to his 
very knees !" 

The two elder brethren married; the young- 
est remained single. 

Krv.pta.dia: Heilbronn, 1883: Henninger Freres: vol. 1: Secret 
Stories from the Russian, No. 32. Also Contes Secrets Russet: Paris: 
Liseux, 1891. 

43 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

The merchant's daughter, back in her home, 
had no thought in her head but to wed the young 
peasant; several rich merchants sought her hand in 
marriage, but she would have none of them. 

"I will wed with none save this young man," 
quoth she. 

Her father and mother sought to dissuade her. 
"What art thinking on, foolish one?" said they. 
"Come back to thy senses! Why wouldst wed with 
a poor peasant?" 

"Concern not yourselves with that!" answered 
she. " 'Tis not ye who will have to live with him!" 

The merchant's daughter came to an under- 
standing with the matchmaker, and dispatched her 
to tell the young man to come without fail and ask 
her hand in marriage. The matchmaker went to 
see him, saying: 

"Hearken, oh! my little dove. Why standest 
there gaping? Go ask in marriage the merchant's 
daughter. She hath awaited thee this long time, 
and will wed thee with joy." 

The young man swiftly apparelled himself, 
donned a new smock-frock, took his new hat, and 
hied him forthwith to the house of the merchant to 
ask his daughter's hand in marriage. When the 
merchant's daughter perceived him, when she re- 
cognised that it was indeed he whose yard reached 
to his knees, she fell to asking her father and 
mother for their blessing on a union indissoluble. 

On the wedding night she went to bed with 
her husband, and perceived that he had but a little 
yard, smaller even than a finger. 

"Oh! thou scoundrel!" she cried. "Thou 
boastest ownership of a yard reaching to thy knees! 
What hast done with it?" 



44 



THE ENCHANTED RING 

"Dear wife, thou knowest that I was a bache- 
lor, and very poor; when I resolved to marry, I 
had neither gold nor aught else to enable me so to. 
So I have pledged my yard."* 

"And for what sum hast thou pledged thy 
yard?" 

"But for little for fifty roubles." 

"Good. On the morrow I will go seek my 
mother, I will beg money of her, and thou wilt go 
without fail to recover thy yard. If thou dost not 
buy it back, enter not the house!" 

She waited until morn, then ran switly in 
search of her mother, saying: 

"Grant me a favour, little mother. Give me 
fifty roubles. I have sore need of them." 

"But tell me why thou hast need of them." 

"See, little mother. My husband had a yard 
which reached to his knees. When we desired to 
marry, he knew not where to find the money, the 
poor man, and he hath pledged his yard for fifty 
roubles. Now my husband hath but a tiny yard, 
even smaller than a finger. 'Tis of the utmost ne- 
cessity, therefore, to buy back his ancient yard." 

The mother, understanding the need, drew 
fifty roubles from her purse, and gave them to her 
daughter. The latter returned to her home and 
gave the money to her husband, saying: 

"Go! Run now swiftly to buy back thine an- 
cient yard, in order that strangers may not make 
use of it!" 

The young man took the money and went 
forth, eyes downcast. Where might he turn now? 

* Literally: "put it in pawn." 

45 



* I: W A BCB 

\ 

W? - bi$ wife fad a jard? Ji 




He 
aad at 

-Good day, good 
"Good day, good 

v- - ;--.*"- 

-Ah, good 

ilr! thnn did* knrw mr 




. 



tell tbee whither Igor 

Tell me thy sorrow, littfe dove. Perchance I 
can come to thine aid." 

"I am shamed to tell it thee.** 

Tear not, hare no shame. Speak boldly." 

'Ah, well, see here, good woman. I had 
boasted of having a yard that reached to my knees ; 
a merchant's daughter, who had heard this, es- 
poused me, bat when she lay with me on our 
wedding night and perceived that I had bat a little 
yard, smaller than a finger, she cried out and asked 
what I had done with my great yard. I told her 
that I had pledged it for fifty roubles ; she gave me 
the money and bade me buy it back without fail; 
otherwise, I might not show myself again at my 
home. And I know not how to satisfy my little 
dove." 

The aged woman made answer to him : 

"Give me thy money," said she, "and I will 
find a remedy for thy sorrow." 

Forthwith he drew the fifty roubles from his 
pocket and gave them to her; the aged woman 
handed to him a ring. 

"Come, take this ring," quoth she. "Put it 
only on thy finger nail." 

The young man took the ring, and scarce had 

46 



THE ENCHANTED RING 

he put it on his fingernail his yard stretched it- 
self a cubit's length. 

"Well, what of it?" asked the aged woman. 
"Doth thy yard reach to thy knees?" 

"Yea, good woman. It reacheth even below 
my kness." 

"Now, my little dove, pass the ring down thy 
whole finger." 

He passed the ring over his entire finger, and 
his yard lenghtened out even unto seven versts.* 

"Ah! good woman! where shall I lodge it? It 
will bring me ill fortune with my wife." 

"Thrust up the ring to thy finger nail; thy 
yard will be but a cubit's span. This for thy guid- 
ance pay attention and never put the ring beyond 
thy finger nail." 

He thanked the aged woman, and retook the 
road homeward; and as he journeyed he rejoice in 
that he need not appear before his wife with empty 
hands. 

But as he went, he felt a desire to eat. Going 
aside, he seated himself not far from the road at 
the foot of a zurdock, drew biscuits from his wal- 
let, dipped them in water, and fell to eating. Anon, 
desire to slumber o'er-came him; he lay down, 
belly uppermost, and played with the ring. He 
put it upon his finger nail, and his yard rose to the 
height of a cubit's span; he pressed his whole fing- 
er through the ring, and his yard rose to a height 
of seven versts; he removed the ring, and his yard 
became small as before. He examined and re-ex- 
amined the ring, and thus he fell asleep. But he 

* A verst would be about 1,170 yards. The virtue of the ring 
was indeed remarkable! 

47 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

forgot to coneal the ring, which rested upon his 
belly. 

There chanced to pass in a carriage a lord and 
his wife. The lord saw, not far from the road, a 
peasant aslumbering, and upon his belly glittered 
a ring, as it were a live coal in the sun. He stopped 
the horses, saying to his lackey: 

"Approach the peasant, take the ring, and 
bring it to me." 

Straightway the lackey ran to the peasant, and 
carried back the ring to the lord. And these went 
on their way. 

The lord admired the ring. 

"Look thou, my dear loved one," said he to 
his wife. "What a superb ring! Behold! I put it 
upon my ringer." And he passed it down his whole 
finger. 

Straightway his yard reached out, o'erturned 
the coachman from his box seat, struck one of the 
mares right beneath the tail, pushed aside the ani- 
mal, and caused the carriage to go ahead of it* 

The lady beheld what misfortune had befal- 
len, was greatly affrighted, and cried with all her 
force to the lackey, saying: 

"Run most swiftly to the peasant and lead him 
hither!" 

The lackey sped amain to the peasant and 
aroused him, saying: 

"Come swiftly, my little peasant, to my 
master!" 

The peasant sought his ring. 

"A curse on thee! Thou hast taken my ring!" 

* Contes Secrets Russes translate: "His yard stretched forth, 
hurled the driver from his seat, passed beyond the team of horses, 
and reached out in front of the carriage for a distance of seven versts." 

48 



THE ENCHANTED RING 

"Seek not," said the lackey. "Come to my 
master. He hath thy ring, which hath caused us a 
great fuss." 

The peasant ran to the carriage. Quoth the 
lord to him : 

"Pardon me, but come to my aid in my mis- 
fortune!" 

"What wilt give me, lord?" 

"Here are one hundred roubles." 

"Give me two hundred and I will deliver 
thee." 

The lord drew two hundred roubles from his 
pocket, the peasant took the money, and withdrew 
the ring from the lord's finger, whereat the yard 
vanished as if by magic, and there was left to the 
lord but his former little instrument. 

The lord went his way, and the peasant hied 
him homeward with the ring. His wife was at the 
window and saw him come; she ran to meet him. 

"Hast brought it back?" asked she. 

"I have." 

"Show it me!" 

"Come within the chamber. I cannot show it 
thee outside." 

They entered the chamber, nor did the wife 
cease to repeat : "Show it me ! Show it me !" 

He placed the ring on his finger-nail, and his 
yard lengthened a cubit's span; then he drew off 
his drawers, saying: "Behold, wife!" 

The wife fell on his neck. 

"My dear little husband, here is truly an ins- 
trument that will be better in our house than with 
strangers. Come swiftly and eat; then we will to 
bed and make trial of it." 

49 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

Forthwith she put upon the table all manner 
of meats and beverages, and they fell to eating and 
drinking. Having feasted, they betook themselves 
to bed. When he had pierced his wife with this 
yard, she, for three whole days, was ever peering 
'neath his garment; it seemed to her that the yard 
was ever thrusting between her legs. 

She went to pay a visit to her mother, what 
time her husband hied him to the garden and lay 
down 'neath an apple tree. 

"Well," asked the mother of her daughter, 
"have ye bought back the yard?" 

"We have bought it back, little mother." 

And the mother had but one thought: to steal 
away, profiting by her daughter's visit, to run to 
the house of her son-in-law, and to make trial of 
his great yard. 

And while the daughter chattered, the mother 
came to the house of the son-in-law and sped into 
the garden. The son-in-law was aslumbering; the 
ring was on his finger nail, and his yard stood erect 
to the height of a cubit's span. 

"I will mount upon his yard," said the good 
mother to herself. 

And she mounted, in sooth, upon the yard, 
and balanced herself thereon. 

But, by ill fortune, the^ring slipped to the 
base of the finger of the son-in-law what time he 
slept, and the yard raised the good mother to the 
height of seven versts. 

The daughter perceived that her mother had 
gone forth, she divined the reason, and hastened to 
return home. In her house there was no one. She 
went into the garden, and what saw she? Her 
husband aslumbering, his yard raised to a vast 

50 



THE ENCHANTED RING 

height, and, all in the clouds, the good mother, 
scarce visible! and she when the wind blew, turned 
upon the yard as though upon a stake. 

What to do? How remove her mother from 
off the yard? 

A great crowd had come together; they dis- 
cussed; they preferred counsel. Said some: there 
is naught for it but to take a hatchet and cut the 
yard. Said others: no, 'tis a bad plan. Why lose 
two souls? For as soon as the yard is cut, the 
woman will fall and kill herself. 'Tis better to 
pray to God that perchance by some miracle the 
old woman will disentangle herself from it. 

During this time the son-in-law awoke, and 
perceived that his ring had descended to the base 
of his finger, tha his yard raised itself towards the 
sky to a hight of seven versts, and that it nailed 
him solidly ot the earth, in such wise that he could 
not turn upon his other side. 

He withdrew very softly the ring from his 
finger; his yard descended to the height of a cubit's 
span; and the son-in-law saw his mother-in-law 
suspended upon it. 

"How earnest thou there, little mother?" 

"Pardon, my little son-in-law. I will not do 
it any more!" 



51 



VARIANT. 



on a time a tailor possessed a magic ring; 
soon as he put it upon his finger, his yard 
assumed an extraordinary development. It fell out 
that he went to work at the house of a woman ; by 
nature he was gay and given to jesting, and when 
he lay down to slumber he neglected always 
cover his genitals. 

The woman observed that he had a yard of 
great proportions; desirious of sampling the power 
of such an instrument, she summoned the tailor to 
her chamber. 

"Hearken," quoth she to him. "Consent to sin 
once with me." 

"Why not, madam? But only on one con- 
dition that thou dost not fart! If thou dost fart, 
thou shalt pay me three hundred roubles." 

"Very good," answered she. 

They betook themselves to bed ; the good wo- 
man took all possible precautions not to expel wind 
during the sexual act; she instructed her chamber- 
maid to seek a large onion, to thrust this into her 
fundament, and to hold it there with both hands. 
These orders were carried out minutely, but at the 
first assault delivered by the tailor upon the wo- 
man, the onion was violently expelled and struck 

52 



THE ENCHANTED RING 

the chambermaid with such force that she was 
killed outright! 

The woman lost her three hundred roubles? 
the tailor pocketed this sum and hied him home- 
ward. Having journeyed some distance, he felt a 
desire to slumber and lay down in a field. He plac- 
ed the ring upon his finger and his yard stretched 
to the length of one verst. As he lay thus, slumber 
o'ertook him, and whilst he slept came seven starv- 
ing wolves, which devoured the greater part of his 
yard. He awoke as if naught had chanced,* took 
the ring from his finger, put it in his pocket, and 
pursued his way. 

Came night, and the tailor entered the house 
of a peasant. Now this peasant had married a 
young woman who had a liking for well-member- 
ed men. The guest went to sleep in the courtyard, 
leaving his yard exposed. Perceiving it, the peas- 
ant's wife felt a great desire; raising her robe, she 
coupled with the tailor. 

"Good," quoth he to himself ;and he placed 
the ring on his finger, and his yard rose little by 
little to the height of one verst. But when the wife 
perceived herself so far from the earth, all desire 
to futter left her, and she clung with both hands to 
this strange support in mid-air. 

Beholding the peril that beset the wretched 
woman, her neighbours and relations fell to pray- 
ing for the safety of both. But the tailor gently 
withdrew the ring from his finger; gradually the 
dimensions of his member decreased, and, when it 
reached but to a small height, the woman jumped 
to earth. 

*The Kruptadia version says: "As if flies had just tickled his 
yard." 

53 



THE WAV OF A VIRGIN. 

"Ah! insatiable coynte," quoth the tailor to 
her. "It had been thy death had they cut my 
yard. 



* 



*The main theme of these foregoing conies the yard which in- 
creases to gigantic proportions is not confined to Russian folk-lore. In 
Kruptadia, vol. 2: Some Erotic folk-Lore from Scotland, we find the 
following: A man and a woman were in each other's embraces. The 
man was succuha. His yard began to enlarge and enlarge and lift the 
woman. When she was nearly reaching the roof she exclaimed: "Fare- 
well freens, farewell foes, For I'm awa' to heaven On a pintel's nose.'* 



54 



THE INSTRUMENT.* 



on a time a youth, wishing to become a 
, quitted his village and hired himself as 
an apprentice to a farrier. His master was a busy 
man, all the beds in his house being filled by his 
workmen, and when evening came he was sore 
pressed to find sleeping quarters for his apprentice. 
Reflecting long, he thus finally argued : 

"In each bed are several persons; my daugh- 
ter alone has one to herself. With her will I put 
the youth to sleep. His parents are good people, 
and I have known him from boyhood. There is 
no danger." 

When these two were in bed together, the 
youth began to caress the daughter, a maid nigh un- 
to sixteen years, and since she did not repulse him, 
he lost no time in showing her how one makes love. 
The daughter found the business very much to her 
liking, and Pierre (for so the apprentice was nam- 
ed) gave her several lessons in this pretty game. 
She did not tire, and wished that the play might 
last the whole night long; but Pierre, awearjed, 
would fain have slept. Anon, when he began to 
grow drowsy, she pinched him and snuggled up 
to him; but he did not respond to her allurements. 



*Kruptadia: Heilbroom: Henninger Freres, 1884; Breton Folk 
Lore. 

55 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

"Pierre," said she, "dost play no more with 
thine implement?" 

"No 'tis used up," quoth Pierre. 

" 'Tis a pity," said the girl. "Why is it not 
more solid? Would it cost much to have another?" 

"Yea at least three or four hundred francs." 

"I myself have not that sum; but I know 
where my father keepeth his money, and on the 
morrow I will give thee the wherewithal to pro- 
cure another. What dost thou call it?" 

"'This called an 'instrument',"* quoth Pierre. 

In the morning the girl, taking her father's 
money, gave it to the apprentice, who hied him to 
the town and made pretence of buying another in- 
strument; and when night came, he played on his 
instrument to the infinite satisfaction of the girl. 

On the morrow the apprentice received a 
letter, wherein he learned that his mother lay ill 
and desired to see him. He started on his journey 
forthwith. Anon the girl appeared and not seeing 
the apprentice, inquired: 

"Where is Pierre?" 

And they answered her that he was gone and 
would return no more. Whereat she sped after 
him, and when she pereceived him afar off, cried 
out: 

"Pierre! Pierre! At least leave me the in- 
strument!" 



*Frenolle is the word in the text probably a fantastic term, since 
Pierre's "instrument" is not known by that name in Haul Bretagne. 
Farmer, in his monumental wor Slang and its Analogues, (Privately 
Printed, 1890 1904) and Landes (Glossaire Erotique de la Langue 
franfaisf Brussels v 1861) do not include the word in their compre- 
hensive lists of French erotic synonyms for penis. Nor can we find men- 
tion of it in Vocabula Amatoria (London, 1896). Littre, even does not 
gire the word. 

56 



THE INSTRUMENT. 

Pierre, who was in a field at the moment, 
wrenched up a big turnip, and casting it into a 
swamp at the feet of the girl, cried out: 

"Take it 'tis there!" 

And while the girl sought the instrument, he 
continued on his way. 

With both her eyes she looked, but of Pierre's 
instrument could perceive no vestige. Anon she 
sat down on the edge of the swamp and gave her- 
self up to tears. Presently there chanced to pass 
the vicar, who made inquiry as to the cause of her 
grief. 

"Oh! thy reverence!" she made answer. "The 
instrument hath fallen in the swamp and I cannot 
recover it. A sad pity, for 'tis a precious instru- 
ment and cost three or four hundred francs." 

"Let us both seek," quoth the vicar. "I will 
aid thee." 

He tucked up his gown, and both fell to seek- 
ing in the swamp, which was somewhat deep. 
Anon the girl turned her head, and perceived the 
vicar with his garments tucked up above his hips, 
cried out: 

"Ah! thy reverence! No need for further 
search ! 'This thou who hast the instrument 'twixt 
thy legs!" 



EXCURSUS TO THE INSTRUMENT. 



A variant of the foregoing story, (The Instru- 
ment), is to be found in Le Moyen de Parvenir 
(Beroalde de Verville). The editors of Kruptadia 
draw attention to it, quoting the following extract: 

The simpleton husband Hauteroue, while 
f uttering his wife, remarked : 

"What a labour it is, my love!" 

"I am not surprised," quoth she. "Thou dost 
work with a bad implement." 

"I should have a better had I the money." 

"Let not that hinder thee ; I will give thee the 
money on the morrow." 

When the husband received his money, he set 
out to enjoy himself; then he went to bed with his 
wife, whom he pleasured well. 

"Ho! my love!" said she. "This implement is 
as good as the one thou hadst. But, love, what hast 
done with the other?" 

"I have thrown it away, my love." 

"Bah! Thou hast made a great mistake. 
'Twould have served for my mother!" 



58 



THE TIMOROUS FIANCEE.* 



young girls held converse together. Quoth 

one: 

"Like thee, little one, I, too, will never 
marry." 

"And why should we marry against our will?" 
said the other. "We have no masters." 

"Hast seen, little one, that instrument with 
which men make trial upon us?" 

"I have seen it." 

"And is it not huge?" 

"Little one, it is assuredly of the size of an 
arm!" 

"One would never come out of it alive." 

"Come, I will tickle thee with a straw." 

"That also hurteth me." 

The foolish one lay down, and the wiser fell 
to tickling her with a straw. "Ah! that hurteth!" 
she repeated. 

Now the father of one of the young girls forc- 
ed her to take a husband; she waited two nights, 
then went to see her young friend. 

"Good day, little one," she said. 

The latter besought her to relate, forthwith 
what had fallen. 



*Kruptadia: Heilbronn: 1883: Henninger Freres: vol. 1: Secret 
Storiet from the Russian. 

59 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

"Ah!" aswered the young wife. "Had I 
known, had I truly known the business, I had not 
listened to my father or my mother. I thought to 
lose my life, and my tongue hung from my mouth 
a foot in length." 

The young friend was so affrighted that she 
had no wish to speak further of fiances. 

"I will wed with none," quoth she. "And if 
my father seeks to employ violence, I will espouse, 
for form's sake, the first bachelor I encounter." 

Now there was in the same village a young 
lad and a very poor. None would give him a seem- 
ly maid in marriage, and he did not desire an ill; 
by chance he overheard the conversation of the 
young girls. 

"Wait," thought he to himself. "I will play a 
trick on that one. At a suitable moment I will say 
that I have no yard." 

Came a day when the young girl went to mass ; 
she beheld the lad leading his horse, thin and un- 
shod, to the watering place; the poor beast went 
limping, and the young girl laughed. They came 
to a steep slope; the mare climbed with difficulty, 
then fell and rolled on her back. The lad was an- 
noyed, seized the mare by her tail, and fell to beat- 
ing her without pity, saying: 

"Get up ! Thou wilt flay all the skin off thy- 
self!" 

"Why beatest thou the horse,brigand?" asked 
the young girl. 

The lad lifted the tail, looked at it and said : 

"And what should I do? Putter her? But I 
have no yard." 

When the girl heard his words, she pissed her- 
self with joy, saying: 

60 



THE TIMOROUS FIANCEE. 

"Behold! the good God hath sent me a fiancee 
after my liking!" 

She returned to her house, sat down in a sec- 
luded corner, and fell to pouting. Presently all 
the family seated themselves at table, calling on 
her to come, but she replied in anger: 

"I will not!" 

"Come, Douniouchka," said the mother. 
"What art thinking of? Tell me." 

The father intervened. 

"Why dost pout? Perchance thou dost desire 
to wed? Thou wouldst wed with this one and not 
with that?" 

The young girl had but one idea in her head: 
to wed Ivan the No-Yard. 

"I will wed," she replied, "neither this one 
nor that. An it please ye or not, I will wed Ivan." 

"What sayest thou, little fool? Art enraged, 
or hast lost thy reason? Thou wouldst share thy 
life with him?" 

"He is my destiny. Seek not to marry me to 
another, else I will drown or strangle myself." 

Hitherto the old father had not honoured the 
poverty-stricken Ivan with so much as a look, but 
now he went himself to the lad to make him release 
his daughter. He approached. Ivan was seated, 
repairing an old hempen shoe. 

"Good day, Ivanouchka." 

"Good day, old man." 

"What dost thou?" 

"I seek to mend my hempen shoes." 

"Shoes? Thou hast need of new boots." 

"Since I have with difficulty amassed fifteen 

61 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

copeks to buy these shoes, where shall I find money 
to purchase boots?" 

"And why dost thou not marry, Vania?" 

"Who would give me his daughter?" 

"I, if thou wilt! Kiss me on the mouth." 

And they came to an understanding. 

At the rich man's house there was no lack of 
beer and brandy. The girl and the lad were wed 
forthwith, high feast was held, and then the best 
man conducted the young people to their sleeping 
chamber and put them to bed. One knows the se- 
quel. Ivan pierced the young girl till she bled and 
there was a road by which he might travel. 

"What a blockhead, what a fool I have been!" 
thought Dounnuka. "What have I done? How 
much better had Itaken one richly-endowed ! But 
where hath he found this yard? I will question 
him." 

And she questioned him, saying: 

"Hearken, Ivanouchka. Where hast got this 
yard?" 

"I have hired it from mine uncle for one 
night." 

"Ah! my little dove! Beg it of him for yet 
another night." 

A second night passed and she said to him 
again : 

"Little dove! Beg of thine uncle if he will not 
sell thee the yard outright. But bargain well." 

"Good. One can always bargain." 

He went to the house of his grandsire, came 
to an understanding with him,* and returned to his 
home. 

*Lui donnt let mot. "Put him wise" would be the exact modern 
equivalent 

62 



THE TIMOROUS FIANCEE. 

"Well, what of it?" asked his wife. 

"What can I say?" answered the lad. "There 
was no bargaining with him. We must give him 
three hundred roubles or he will not yield us the 
yard. And where may we get this sum?" 

"Ah, well. Return and beg him to hire thee 
the yard for yet another night. To-morrow I ask 
my father for the money, and we will buy the yard 
outright." 

"Nay go thyself and ask it of him. In sooth, 
I dare not." 

She went to the uncle's house, entered his 
apartment, prayed to heaven, and bowed, saying: 

"Good day, mine uncle." 

"Thou art welcome. What good news hast 
thou?" 

"See, mine uncle, I am shamed to speak, but 
'twould be a sin an I kept sjlent. Lend thy yard to 
Ivan for a night." 

The relative took counsel with himself, shook 
his head, and said: 

"It can be lent, but care must be taken of a 
yard belonging to another." 

"We will take care of it, uncle. I swear by 
the Cross. And to-morrow, without fail, we will 
buy it outright of thee." 

"Go, then, and send Ivan to me." 

She bowed to the earth and left the house. 

On the morrow she went to seek her father, 
asked of him three hundred roubles for her hus- 
band, and bought for herself a good yard. 



63 



EXCURSES TO THE ENCHANTED RING, 

THE INSTRUMENT, and THE TIMOROUS 

FIANCEE. 



Each of the three foregoing stories is remark- 
able for the fact it contains the same nai've idea 
the possibility of purchasing a male "implement." 
The idea is fairly common in folk-lore stories of 
virginity, but, almost always, results in a highly 
humorous situation. It is a crude but very effective 
method of depicting the ignorance, even stupidity, 
of a virgin girl. It also affords the story-teller an 
opportunity of an indirect reference to a favourite 
theme the erotic tendency of women once their 
sexual senses are aroused.* 

One episode of The Enchanted Ring (the re- 
markable qualities of the young man's penis when 
adorned with the ring) can hardly fail to recall 
"The Night of Power," (Sir Richard F. Burton's 
Thousand Nights and a Night), wherein the hus- 
band's organs undergo rapid and wonderful trans- 
formation. This tale is described by Sir Richard 
Burton as "the grossest and most brutal satire on 
the sex, suggesting that a woman would prefer an 



*C.f. Excursus to The Tale of Kamar al-Zaman, where the sub- 
ject is discussed at length. 

64 



EXCURSUS. 



additional inch of penis to anything this world or 
the next can offer her." One cannot help noting, 
none the less, the indecent anxiety of the mother- 
in-law, in our story from Kruptadia, to sample the 
mighty yard of the newly-returned husband.* 



*In The Night of Power we have the story of a man who, believ- 
ing that three prayers would be granted to him, consults his wife as to 
what he shall ask. She advises him to ask Allah to "greaten and mag- 
nify his yard." He does so, whereupon his yard "became as big as a 
column, and he could neither sit nor stand nor move about nor even stir 
from his stead ; and when he would have carnally known his wife, she 
fled before him from place to place." In distress the husband asks, as 
his second wish, to be delivered of this burden, and "immediately his 
prickle disappeared altogether and he became clean smooth. When 
his wife saw this, she said: 'I have no occasion for, thee now thou art 

become pegless as an eunuch, shaven and shorn. Pray Allah the 

most High to restore thee thy yard as it was.' So he prayed to his Lord 
and his prickle was restored to its first estate. Thus the man lost his 
three wishes by the ill counsel and lack of wit in the woman." Our 
brief summary is taken from Sir Richard F. Burton's translation of 
The Thousand Nights and a Night. 



65 



ADVENTURES WITH HEDVIGE AND 
HELENE AT GENEVA.* . 



Casanova makes the acquaintace of two 
charming cousins, Hedvige and Helene, at Gen- 
eva. After sundry meetings, at 'which theology and 
sexual matters are discussed in a frank and amus- 
ing fashion, Casanova gets the chance to take his 
two charmers for a stroll in the garden where they 
can be sure of immunity from interruption. Casa- 
nova's opportunity occurs as a result of Hedvige'; 
desire to know why a deity could not impregnate a 
woman, a male acquaintance having said that he 
could not with propriety expound such mysteries 
to her. Casanova gladly agrees to make the matter 
clear, adding, however, that he must be allowed to 
speak quite plainly. The text continues: 



, s P ea k clearly," quoth Hedvige, "for none 
can hear us; but I am forced to confess that I 
am cognisant of the formation of man only in 
theory and by lecture. True, I have seen statues, 
but I have never seen and still less have I exam- 



*Memoirs^ of Jacques Casanova: For the first time translated into 
English and Privately Printed, 1894: 12 vols.: 1000 copies only. Also 
MGmoires de J. Casanova de Seingalt: Gamier Freres, Paris, N.D. Our 
text is a blend of the two versions. 

66 



ADVENTURES AT GENEVA. 

ined real* man. And thou, Helene?" 

"I have never desired so to do." 

"Why not? 'Tis good to know all." 

"Well, my charming Hedvige," said I, "thy 
theologian wished to tell thee that Jesus was not 
capable of erection." 

"What is that?" 

"Give me thy hand." 

"I feel it and I can picture it; for, without this 
natural phenomenon, man could not impregnate 
his consort. And this foolish theologian pretendeth 
that it is an imperfection!" 

"Yea, for this phenomenon springeth from 
desire, for 'tis very true that it would not have 
worked in me, sweet Hedvige, had I not found 
thee charming and had not what I had seen of thee 
given me the most seductive idea of the beauties I 
see not. Tell me frankly if, after feeling this rig- 
idity of mine, thou dost not experience an ageeable 
sensation?" 

"I confess it; 'tis precisely where thou press- 
est. Dost not feel as I, my dear Helene, an itching 
and a longing on listening to the very true dis- 
course given to us by this gentleman?" 

"Yea, I feel it, but I feel it very often, with- 
out any discourse exciting it." 

"And then," quoth I, "Nature forceth thee to 
appease it thus?" 

"Not at all." 

"Oh, that it were so, Hedvige! Even in sleep 
one's hand strayeth there by instinct; and, lacking 
this easement, I have read that we should suffer 
terrible maladies." 

*i.e., naked. 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

And whilst we continued this philosophical 
converse, which the youthful theologian sustained 
with an authoritative tone, and which brought a 
look of voluptuousness to the lovely complexion of 
her cousin, we came to the edge of a fine pool 
where one descended by a marble staircase to 
bathe. Although it was chilly, our heads were 
warm, and it came to me to propose to the maidens 
that they put their feet in the water, assuring them 
that it would do them good and, if they permitted 
me, that I would count it an honour to remove 
their shoes and stockings. 

"Come," said Hedvige, "I like the project 
well." 

"I, too," said Helene. 

"Seat yourselves, ladies, on the first stair." 

Behold them, then, seated, and thy servant, on 
the fourth stair, busy unshoeing them, what time 
he extolled the beauty of their legs and made pre- 
tence to be incurious at the moment to see higher 
than the knee. Then, having gone down to the 
water, they had perforce to lift their garments, and 
in this business I encouraged them. 

"Ah, well," remarked Hedvige, "men also 
have tighs." 

Helene, who would have felt shame to show 
less courage than her cousin, did not hang back. 

"Come, my charming na'fads," quoth I, " 'tis 
enough. Ye will catch cold if ye remain for long 
in the water." 

They reascended the staircase backwards, ever 
holding up their robes lest they might wet them; 
and it fell to me to dry their limbs with all the 
handkerchiefs that I possessed. This pleasant task 
permitted me to see and touch everything at my 

68 



ADVENTURES AT GENEVA. 

leisure, and the reader will scarce need my word 
to affirm that I made the best of my opportunity. 
The pretty niece (Hedvige) declared that I was 
too curious, but Helene let me have my way with 
an air so tender and so languid that I was hard 
pressed not to push the matter further. In the end, 
having again^put on their shoes and stockings, I 
told them that I was enchanted to have viewed the 
secret charms of the two most lovely ladies in Ge- 
neva. 

"What effect hath it on thee?" asked Hedvige 
of me. 

"I dare not tell ye to look, but feel, both of 



ye." 



"Bathe thou thyself also." 

"Impossible. The business is too long for a 
man." 

"But we have yet two full hours to remain 
here without fear of interruption from anyone." 

This response caused me to see the happiness 
that awaited me; but I did not think fit to expose 
myself to an illness by entering the water in the 
state in which I was. Seeing a summer-house not 
far off and assured that M. Torchin would have 
left it open, I took my two beauties by the arm and 
led them hither, not letting them guess, however, 
my intentions. 

The summer-house was full of vases of pot 
pourri, pretty engravings, and so forth; but what 
I valued most was a large and lovely divan, fit for 
repose and for pleasure. There, seated 'twixt these 
two beauties and lavishing caresses upon them, I 
said that I desired to show them that which they 
had never seen, at the same time exposing to their 
gaze the principal agent of humanity. They raised 

69 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

themselves to admire it, and then, taking the hand 
of each one of them, I procured for them a con- 
siderable pleasure; but, in the course of this labour, 
an abundant emission on my part caused them 
great amazement. 

" 'Tis its speech," said I. "The speech of the 
great creator of men." 

"'Tis delicious!" cried Helene, laughing at 
the term 'speech.' 

"I, too, have the power of speech," said Hed- 
vige, "and I will show it thee, if thou wilt wait a 
moment." 

"Put thyself in my hands, sweet Hedvige. I 
will spare thee the trouble of making it come thy- 
self, and I will do it better than thee." 

"I well believe it. But I have never done that 
with a man." 

"Nor I," said Helene. 

When they had placed themselves directly be- 
fore me, their arms enlaced, I made them swoon 
away afresh. Then, having seated ourselves, what 
time my hand strayed all over their charms, I let 
them divert themselves at their leisure, till in the 
end I moistened their palms with a second emis- 
sion of the natural moisture, which they examined 
curiously on their fingers. 

Having once again put ourselves in a state of 
decency, we passed yet another half hour in ex- 
changing kisses, after which I told them that they 
had rendered me partially happy, but, to make the 
work perfect, that I hope they would devise a 
means of granting me their first favours. Then I 
showed them those perservative sachets wich the 
English have invented in order to rid the fair sex 

70 



ADVENTURES AT GENEVA. 

of all fear. These little "purses,"* the use of which 
I explained to them, excited their admiration, and 
Hedvige said to her cousin that she would give 
thought to the matter. Become intimate friends 
and in good case to become even better, we took 
our way toward the house, where we found He- 
lene's mother and the minister walking by the edge 
of the lake 

Follows now the description of a dinner at 
which Casanova, Hedvige and Helene are present. 
The text continues: 

Helene shone in solving the questions put to 
her by the company. M. de Ximenes begged her to 
justify as best she might our first mother, who had 
deceived her husband by causing him to eat the 
fatal apple. 

"Eve," quoth she, "deceived not her husband; 
she did but cajole him into eating it in the hope of 
giving him one more perfection. Moreover, Eve 
had not received the prohibition from God but 
from Adamj in her act there was seduction, not 
deceit; in all probability her womanly sense did 
not let her regard the prohibition as serious." 

Another lady then asked her if one might 

believe the history of the apple to be symbolical. 
Hedvige answered : 

"I think not, since it could only be a symbol 
of sexual union, and 'tis established that such was 
not consummated 'twixt Adam and Eve in the 
Garden of Eden." 

"On this point the learned differ." 



* Capote Anglaise: in slang terms, a French letter or condom. The 
French talk about an "English" letter ; we say the reverse. 

71 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

"So much the worse for them, madam; the 
Scripture is plain enough. 'Tis written in the first 
verse of the fourth chapter that Adam knew Eve 
after his expulsion from their terrestial paradise, 
and that in consequence she conceived Cain." 

"Yea, but the verse sayeth not that Adam did 
not know her before, and, consequently, he might 
so have done." 

"This I cannot allow, for had he know her be- 
fore she would have conceived ; 'twere foolish to 
suppose that two creatures, who had just quitted 
God's hands, and were, in consequence, as nigh 
perfect as is possible, could consummate the act of 
generation with no result." 

The conversation now becomes very theologi- 
cal and controversial, and we take leave to omit it. 

After dinner I went apart with Helene, 

who told me that her cousin and the pastor would 
sup with her mother on the following day. 

"Hedvige," she added, "will stay and sleep 
with me, as is ever her custom when she cometh 
with her uncle to sup. It remaineth to be seen if 
thou art willing to hide in a spot I will show thee 
to-morrow at eleven of the clock, in order to pass 
the night with us. Call on my mother at that hour 
to-morrow, and I will find means of showing thee 
the spot. " 

In the morning I paid the mother a visit, 

and as Helene was escorting me out, she showed 
me a closed door 'twixt the two stairs. 

"At seven hours of the clock," said she, "thou 
will find it open, and when thou art within, put on 
the bolt Take care lest any see thee as thou enter 
the house." 

Casanova, in due course, takes up his position 

72 



ADVENTURES AT GENEVA. 

in the hiding place, and during his long wait for 
the two charmers, gives himself up to reflection on 
his past. The text continues: 

In my long and profligate career, during 

which I have turned the heads of several .hundreds 
of ladies, I have grown familiar with all methods 
of seduction; but it hath ever been my guiding 
principle never to press my attack against novices 
or those in whom prejudices were likely to prove 
an obstacle, save in the presence of another woman. 
Timidity, I soon discovered, maketh a girl averse 
from seduction; in company with another girl she 
is easily conquered; the weakness of one bringeth 
on the fall of the other. 

Fathers and mothers are of contrary opinion, 
but they err. They will not trust their daughter 
to take a walk or go to a ball with a young man, 
but no difficulty is made if she hath another girl 
with her. I repeat they err; if the young man 
hath the requisite skill, their daughter is lost. A 
sense of false shame hindereth them from making 
a determined resistance to seduction, but, the first 
step taken, the fall cometh inevitably and rapidly. 
One girl, granting some small favour, straightway 
maketh her friend grant a much greater, thereby 
to hide her own blushes; and if the seducer be 
clever at his trade, the youthful innocent will soon 
have travelled too far to be able to draw back. In 
addition, the more innocent the girl, the greater 
her ignorance of seduction's methods. Ere she hath 
time to think, pleasure doth attract her, curiosity 
draweth her yet a little further, and opportunity 
doth the rest. 

For example, 'twere possible I had been able 
to seduce Hedvige without Helene, but I am as- 

73 



THE WA? OF A VIRGIN. 

sured I had never succeeded with Helene had she 
not seen her cousin grant me certain licenses what 
time she took liberties with me practices which 
she thought, doubtless, contrary to the modesty 

and decorum of a respectable young woman I 

desire what I say to be a warning to fathers and 
mothers, and to secure me a place in their esteem, 
at any rate. 

Shortly after the pastor had gone I heard 
three light knocks on my prison door. I opened it, 
and a hand soft as satin grasped mine. My whole 
being quivered. 'Twas Helene hand, and that 
happy moment had already repaid me for my long 
waiting. 

"Follow me softly," she said, in a low voice; 
but scarce had she closed the door ere I, in my im- 
patience, clasped her tenderly in my arms, and 
caused her to feel the effect which her mere pres- 
ence had produced on me, what time I assured my- 
self of her docility. 

"Be prudent, my friend," said she to me, 
"and come softly upstairs." 

I followed her as best I might in the darkness, 
she leading me along a gallery into a room with- 
out light, the door of which she closed behind us, 
and thence into a lighted chamber, wherein was 
Hedvige, well nigh in a state of nudity. She came 
to me with open arms on the instant she saw me, 
and, embracing me ardently, signified her appre- 
ciation of my patience in my weary prison. 

"Divine Hedvige," quoth I, "had I not loved 
thee madly, I had not stayed one fourth of an hour 
in that dismal cell; but for thy sake I would read- 
ily pass hours there daily till I quit this spot. But 
let us lose no time. To bed!" 

74 



ADVENTURES AT GENEVA. 

"Do ye twain get to bed," quoth Helene. "I 
will couch on the divan." 

"Oh!" cried Hedvige. "Think not so. Our 
fate must be exactly equal." 

"Yea, beloved Helene," said I, embracing 
her. "I love thee both with equal ardour, and 
these ceremonies but waste the time wherein I 
should be convincing ye of my passion. Follow 
my example. I am about to disrobe and place my- 
self in the midst of the bed. Come lie beside me, 
and ye will see if I love ye as ye are worthy to be 
loved. If all be safe, I will remain till ye send me 
away, but whate'er ye do, of your mercy exting- 
uish not the light." 

In the twinkling of an eye, all the while dis- 
cussing the theory of shame with Hedvige the 
theologian, I presented myself to their gaze in the 
costume of Adam. Hedvige, blushing but fearing, 
perchance, to depreciate herself in my opinion by 
any further reserve, parted with the last shred of 
modesty, citing the opinion of St. Clement Alex- 
andrinus, who held that in the shirt lay the seat 
of shame. 

I praised unstintingly her charms and the 
perfection of her form, thereby hoping to encour- 
age Helene, who was disrobing but slowly; but a 
charge of mock modesty from her cousin had more 
effect than all my praises. At length this Venus 
was in a state of nature, covering her most secret 
parts with one hand, concealing one breast with 
the other, and seeming most sadly shamed of all 
she couldn ot conceal. Her modest confusion, this 
strife twixt expiring modesty and growing pas- 
sion, enchanted me. 

Hedvige was taller than Helene, her skin was 

75 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

whiter, and her breast twice the size of her 
cousin's; but in Helene was more animation, her 
form was more sweetly moulded, and her bust was 
on the model of the Venus de Medici. 

By degrees she became bolder, put at ease by 
her cousin, and we passed several moments in ad- 
miring each other; then to bed we went. Nature 
called loudly, and all we desired was to satisfy its 
demands. With a coolness that I did not fear 
would fail me, I made a woman of Hedvige, and 
when all was o'er she kissed me, saying that the 
pain was naught compared to the pleasure. 

Next came the turn of Helene, who was 
six years younger than Hedvige; but the finest 
"fleece"* that e'er I saw presented something of 
an obstacle. This she parted with her two hands, 
being jealous of her cousin's success; and although 
she was not initiated into the mysteries of love 
without woeful pain, her sighs were truly sighs of 



*"Fleece," of course, is an accepted erotic term for pubic hair 
(Farmer: Slang and its Analogues] ; c.f. also the French term toison. 
Helene's hirsute adornment is in keeping with psychological precept 
that hairiness and sensuality go hand in hand. Havelock Ellis, in his 
Studies, quotes numerous authorities who are strongly of this opinion, 
(vol. 5: Erotic Symbolism). Lombroso, he adds, found that prostitutes 
generally tend to be hairy. In another volume of his studies, Havelock 
Ellis relates the history of a man for whom a hirsute mons veneris al- 
ways had a peculiar attraction. "When accosted by prostitutes," says 
the subject of this history, "I would never go with them unless assured 
that the mons veneris was very hirsute." That genial old soldier 
Brantome (Lives of Fair and Gallant Ladies: Translated by A. R. 
Allison: Paris, Charles Carrington, 1901) s'ays: "I have heard speak of 
a certain great lady, and I have known her myself and do know her 
still, who is all shaggy and hairy over the chest, stomach, shoulders 
and all down the spine, and on her bottom, like a savage The pro- 
verb hath it, no person thus hairy is ever rich or wanton ; but verily 
in this case the lady is both speaks of women who "have hair in that 
part not curly at all, but so long and drooping, you would say they 
were the moustachios of a Saracen's head. Nathless they do never re- 
move this fleece, but prefer to have it so, seeing there is a saying: 'A 
grassgrown path and a hairy coynte are both good roads to ride.' 

76 



ADVENTURES AT GENEVA. 

happiness as she responded to my ardent efforts. 
Her charms and vivacious movements caused me 
to shorten the sacrifice, and when I quitted the 
sanctuary my two beauties perceived I was in need 
of repose. 

The altar was purified of the blood of the vic- 
tims, and we all bathed, enchanted to serve one 
another. 

Life returned to me 'neath their curious fin- 
gers, and the sight filled them with joy For 

several hours I overwhelmed them with hap- 
piness, passing five or six times from one to the 
other before exhausting myself and arriving at the 
ecstatic spasm. In the intervals, perceiving them 
docile and desirous, I made them execute Aretin's 
most complicated postures, a business that amused 
them beyond measure.* We were lavish with our 
kisses on whatever part took our fancy, and just as 
Hedvige applied her lips to the mouth of the pis- 
tol, it went off and the discharge inundated her 



I have heard speak of another fair and honourable lady which did 
have the hair of this part so long she would entwine the same with 
string or ribbons of silk, crimson and other colours, and have them 
curled like the curls of a wig, and attached to her thighs. And in such 
guise would unwind the ribbons and cords, so that the hair did remain 
after in curl, and looking prettier so than it would otherwise have 
done." Elsewhere Brantome tells of a gentleman of his acquaintance 
who, while sleeping with a very beautiful lady, "and one of good con- 
dition, and doing his devoir with her, did find in that part sundry 
hairs so sharp and prickly that 'twas with all the difficulty in the world 
he could finish, so sharply did these prick and pierce him " Ab- 
normal growth of pubic hair is by no means confined to conte and 
fable. John, says Havelock Ellis in his Studies, delivered a woman 
whose pubic hair was longer than that of her head, reaching below 
her knees. Paulini also knew a woman "whose pubic hair nearly 
reached her knees and was sold to make wigs. Bartholin mentions a 
soldier's wife who plaited her pubic hair behind her back." (Erotic 
Symbolism). We have no actual evidence that Helene's growth was of 
these abnormal dimensions, but it was obviously out of the ordinary to 
provoke comment from a man of Casanova's experience. 

n 



ADVENTURES AT GENEVA. 

face and her bosom. She was delighted, and stu- 
died the eruption to an end with all the curiosity 
of a physician. 

The night seemed short, though we had not 
lost a moment's space, and at daybreak we had to 
part. I left them in bed, being fortunate to get 
away observed of none. 

In the evening, after supper, Casanova con- 
trives another meeting with his charmers. 

Going out with my heroines, I worked 

wonders. Hedvige philosophised over the pleas- 
ure, and told me that she would ne'er have tasted 
it had I not chanced to encounter her uncle. 
Helene did not speak; more voluptous than her 
cousin, she swelled out like a dove, and came to 
life only to expire a moment after. I wondered at 
her amazing fecundity, although such is not un- 
common; while I was engaged in one operation, 
she passed fourteen times from life to death. True, 
'twas the sixth course I had run, so I made my 
pace somewhat slower to enjoy the pleasure she 
took in the business 

After passing another night with the cousins, 
Casanova again sets out on his travels; and here, 
for the time being, ive will leave him. 



*Pietro Arctino, author of The Ragionamenti, is generally sup- 
posed to have enumerated a variety of postures in which the venereal 
act might be performed. To the many he is known solely as "the man 
of the postures." This particular claim to distinction is, to say the 
least, a matter much in dispute, but we will reserve discussion of the 
question for Vol. 2 of Anthologica Rarissima, where lavish excerpts 
from Aretino's works will be given. 



78 



EXCURSUS TO ADVENTURES WITH 
HEDVIGE AND HELENE AT GENEVA. 



Jacques Casanova, Chevalier de Seingalt, 
Knight of the Golden Spur, and one of the most 
remarkable figures in history and letters, was born 
on April 2nd, 1725. To-day, nearly two hundred 
years afterwards, his Memoirs are more vivid and 
readable than anything penned by our contempo- 
rary writers. 

"He who opens these wonderful pages,"says 
the English translator in his preface, "is as one 
who sits in a theatre and looks across the gloom, 
not on a stage-play, but on another and a vanished 
world. The curtain draws up, and suddenly a 
hundred and fifty years are rolled away, and in 
bright light stands out before us the whole life of 
the past; the gay dresses, the polished wit, the care- 
less morals, and all the revel and dancing of those 
merry years before the mighty deluge of the Re- 
volution. 

"The palaces and marble stairs of old Venice 
are no longer desolate, but thronged with scarlet- 
robed senators, prisoners with the doom of the Ten 
upon their heads cross the Bridge of Sighs, at dead 
of night the nun slips out of the convejit gate to 
the dark canal where a gondola is waiting, we as- 
sist at the parties fines of cardinals, and we see the 
bank made at faro. 

"Venice gives place to the assembly rooms of 

79 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

Mrs. Comely and the fast taverns of the London 
of 1760; we pass from Versailles to the Winter 
Palace of St. Petersburg in the days of Catherine, 
from the policy of the Great Frederick to the lewd 
mirth of strolling-players, and the presence-cham- 
ber of the Vatican is succeeded by an intrigue in 
a garret. 

"It is indeed a new experience to read this 
history of a man who, refraining from nothing, 
has concealed nothing; of one who stood in the 
courts of Louis the Magnificent for Madame de 
Pompadour and the nobles of the ancien regime, 
and had an affair with an adventuress of Denmark 
Street, Soho; who was bound over to keep the 
peace by Fielding, and knew Cagliostro. 

"The friend of popes and kings and noble- 
men, and of all the male and female ruffians and 
vagabonds of Europe, abbe, soldier, charlatan, 
gamester, financier, diplomatist, viveur, philoso- 
pher, virtuoso, 'chemist, fiddler, and buffon,' each 
of these, and all of these, was Giacomo Casanova, 
Chevalier de Seingalt, Knight of the Golden 
Spur." 

The English translation of Casanova's 
Memoirs, from which the foregoing is taken, is a 
valuable work. To-day the twelve volume set, of 
which 1,000 copies were privately printed in 1894, 
commands anything from thirty to forty-five 
pounds in the sale-room or book-seller's shop. We 
have been told that the printer of this English ver- 
sion was prosecuted, and all copies of the work 
confiscated by the police, who were ordered to 
burn them. Further, we are told that the copies we 
buy and read to-day are the copies burned by the 
police. 

80 



EXCURSUS. 

If this be so, all honour to the police, for the 
destruction of any scholarly rendering of these 
Memoirs can only be described as an act of van- 
dalism. Because Casanova is not for the multitude, 
does it follow he is not for the few? Translated 
into the English tongue, Casanova's Memoirs must 
be "privately printed" by reason of his plain 
speech in the matter of amorous intrigue, yet, 
every erotic word and scene expunged, the work 
would still be of fascinating interest and inestim- 
able value to the student of history. There exists 
a bowdlerised and abridged edition of these 
Memoirs; we have never seen, and we never wish 
to see, this work. A study of life, without a leave- 
ning of human nature, is worse than useless. 

Casanova, if any reliance is to be set on his 
writings, was a sexual athlete a member of that 
rare and remarkable class of men who are capable 
of amazing feats in the lists of love. Frequent re- 
ference is made to his prowes and observations by 
the great sexual psychologists, Havelock Ellis in 
particular. Bloch, (The Sexual Life of Our 
Time), quoting from a work by Oscar A. H. 
Schmitz, has some interesting remarks to make on 
the character of Casanova. 

"Casanova," he says, "is pre-eminently the 
erotic, also crafty and deceitful (seducer), not, 
however, for the gratification of his need of power, 
but rather for the agreable satisfaction of his need 

for sensual love; for Casanova each one is 'the 

woman' Casanova is human, cares always for the 

happiness of the woman he loves, and devotes to 

them a tender reflection; Casanova is the typical 

feminist, he possesses a profound understanding of 
woman's soul, is not disappointed by love, and 

81 



THE WAV OF A VIRGIN. 

needs for his life's happiness continuous contact 
with feminine natures." 

"Whatever I have done in the course of my 
life," says Casanova,* "whether it be good or evil, 

has been done freely; I am a freeagent Man is 

free, but his freedom ceases when he has no faith 

in it Man is free; yet we must not suppose he is 

at liberty to do everything he pleases, for he be- 
comes a slave the moment he allows his actions to 
be ruled by his passions. The man who has suffi- 
cient power over himself to wait his nature has 
recovered its even balance is the truly wise man, 
but such beings are seldom met with 

"The sanguine temperament rendered me 

very sensible to the attraction of voluptuousness 

The chief business of my life has always been to 
indulge my senses; I never knew anything of 
greater importance. I felt myself born for the fair 
sex, I have ever loved it dearly, and I have been 
loved by it as often and as much as I could 

" Should anyone bring against me an accu- 
sation of sensuality he would be wrong, for all the 
fierceness of my senses never caused me to neglect 

any of my duties I have always been fond of 

highly-seasoned, rich dishes As for women, I 

have always found the odour of my beloved ones 
exceeding pleasant 

" It may be that certain love scenes will be 

considered too explicit, but let no one blame me, 
unless it be for lack of skill, for I ought not to be 
scolded because, in my old age, I can no other en- 
joyment but that which recollections of the past 
afford to me. After all, virtuous and prudish read- 

English translations of the Author's Preface. 

82 



. 

EXCURSUS. 

ers are at liberty to skip over any offensive pict- 
ures, and I think it my duty to give them this piece 
of advice 

" My Memoirs are not written for young 

persons who, in order to avoid false step and slip- 
pery roads, ought to spend their youth in blissful 
ignorance, but for those who, having thorough ex- 
perience of life, are no longer exposed to tempta- 
tion, and who, having but too often gone through 
the fire, are like salamanders, and can be scorched 

by it no more I have no hesitation in saying that 

the really virtuous are those persons who can prac- 
tise virtue without the slightest trouble; such per- 
sons are always full of toleration, and it is to them 
that my Memoirs are addressed " 

Casanova, as he himself tells us, was three 
score and twelve years when he wrote his Mem- 
oirs. The writing, he adds, was both a solace and 
a pleasure. Nevertheless, as the English translator 
says in his appendix, "the last five years of his life 

were passed in petty mortifications Death came 

to him somewhat as a release. He received the sa- 
craments with devotion, exclaimed: 'Great God, 
and all ye who witness my death, I have lived a 
philosopher and I die a Christian,' and so died 
a quiet ending to a wonderfully brilliant and en- 
tirely useless career." 



83 



THE DAMSEL AND THE PRINCE.* 



A young lady being enamoured of the Prince 
of Salerno sends for one of his chaplains and de- 
clares to him that she has received from the said 
prince numerous letters praying for her love. The 
chaplain, having divined her motive, enters into a 
plot with her and brings the affair to the issue 
desired. 



A T that time when our most glorious lord and 
king, Don Fernando, was entertaining Na- 
ples, according to his constant use, with those 
joustings, those marvellous hunting parties, and 
those sumptuous festivals which were famed far 
and wide, it chanced that amongst the other merry- 
makers was a certain young damsel, of beauty al- 
most unrivalled, and a scion of one of the noblest 
houses of our Parthenopean city. 

Now for some time past had often let her eyes 
regale themselves with the beauty and the grace 
of form blonging to my most illustrious lord, the 
Prince of Salerno, and beyond this had heard 
sung, over and over again, the praises of his extra- 
ordinary worth. By this time she was more than 

*Masuccio: The Novellino, translated into English by W. G. 
Waters: London, Lawrence and Bull en, 1895. 

84 



THE DAMSEL AND THE PRINCE. 

ever captivated by him, wherefore she became so 
lovesick that she could only give thought to the 
gentleman by whom her fancy had been ensnared. 

After she had let her thoughts engage them- 
selves in many and divers plans by which she 
might honourably achieve the victory in so worthy 
an adventure, she found that all these schemes 
were over-difficult to compass; wherefore it more 
than once came into her head that she would fol- 
low the advice of certain other ladies of her ac- 
quaintance, who, whenever they found they could 
not refrain from entering the lists of love, were 
wont to send word to the gallant youths beloved 
of them and challenge them to the amorous 
warfare. 

But this damsel, who was gifted with no small 
prudence, and was persuaded at the same time that 
she would not, by following such a course, be set- 
ting a very high value either upon herself or upon 
her undertaking, suddenly determined that she 
would make trial of a novel and very crafty strata- 
gem to induce the prince aforesaid to cull the first 
fruits of her virgin garden. Having chosen a time 
when the prince had gone to other parts for diver- 
sion in the chase, she let come to her a certain 
priest, a man whom she could fully trust, and one 
who was much about the house, and to him she 
gave directions as to what she would have him do. 

This priest now brings Fro. Paulo, the chap- 
lain and theprince's most trusted attendant, to the 
damsel who alleges the receipt of impassioned 
love-letters from the prince. She is at a loss to 
know whether these letters have been concocted by 
one of her brothers with a view to putting her con- 
stancy to proof, or whether they have really been 

85 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

written by 'the prince who "is in sooth taken with 
love of me, seeing that I have at times kept my 
eyes fixed upon him somewhat more than was 
due" The text continues: 

With these, and with other words of a like 
character which had been prepared with the most 
consummate art, she laid before the chaplain the 
letters aforesaid, by way of giving him still farther 
assurance of the truth of her crafty devised dis- 
course. Fra Paulo, although, as a prudent man, 
and as one accustomed to bring contests of this sort 
to a victorious issue, he had fully detected and 
comprehended the hidden wishes and purpose of 
the young lady, nevertheless, as she went on step 
by step with her reasonings and arguments, was 
astonished at finding so great ingenuity and astute- 
ness in the brain of a damsel so delicate and 
youthful. 

Still, as he remarked more than once that, 
whenever she mentioned the name of his lord the 
prince, her face changed colour, he understood that 
the passion which possessed her must be indeed 
burning and fierce. Wherefore he determined to 
let this same wind speed his own bark over such a 
pleasant sea, and he thus made answer to her : 

"Lady mine, because of your kindness, you 
have thought well enough of me to unveil to me 
your secret affairs, you may rest assured that, no 
less for the preservation of your own good name 
than for the safeguarding of my lord's, I will deal 
with this matter with all that silence and secrecy 
which, according to your judgement and mine as 
well, the gravity and importance of the same 
demand 

" I declare once for all that these letters 
86 



THE DAMSEL AND THE PRINCE. 

were never written by my lord; in sooth, if they 
had been his handiwork, I should have marvelled 
amain, because it is his custom never to write his 
own hand to any woman, however fiercely his pas- 
sion may be kindled for her, unless he may first 

have made proof of her love At the outset of all 

his love affairs the letters and messages thereanent 
are written and arranged by the agency of the 
chamberlain, who is in his closest confidence. 
Wherefore I hold it for certain that these same let- 
ters must be from the hands of this man 

" Many a time, when I have chanced to be 

discoursing concerning the beauty of women with 
my lord, he, with a little sigh, which he seemed 
fain to repress, has never ceased to place you be- 
fore all other ladies. And although his words are, 
rare and few and sententious, he has full often let 
me know secretly that you are the only one to 
whom he has entirely given his love. 

"Therefore meseems that you should give 

me authority to act, so I may be able to place the 
whole matter together with your own doubts and 

fears, before the notice of my lord And in order 

that you may speedily be informed of the answer, 
and that the affair may be kept no long time in sus- 
pense, it will behove you to be on the watch for me, 
for when you shall see me pass by your house, and 
call to a certain boy who will be standing opposite 
thereto, you may be assured that I have done my 
errand, and on the following morning let us meet 
once more in this same spot" 

The young lady, deeming that she had assur- 
edly gulled the friar by her trick, and that her plot 
could not now fail to come to an issue perfectly 
satisfactory to her, was so greatly overjoyed that it 

87 



THE WAY Of A VIRGIN. 

seemed to h'er as if she had in sooth been crowned 

by Heaven Then, having brought their discourse 

to an end, and each one being in a contented mood, 
though for a different cause, they went their sev- 
eral ways. 

As Fortune willed it the frair was met by 

the news that the prince had already taken the 
road with the intention of being in Naples on the 
following day. Wherefore Fra Paulo, having gone 
out to meet him, was mightily glad to let him know 
the whole history of the craft of the amorous dam- 
sel, and of the scheme which she had framed. The 
prince gave ear to the same with no less amaze- 
ment than pleasure; for, albeit he had rarely cast 
his eyes upon this young girl, and retained no re- 
collection of her beauty, nevertheless it seemed to 
him to be only just and right that he should hold 
dear those who loved him. So he made answer to 
the frair, and bade him set the business in progress 
in such wise that the meeting might be brought to 
pass at the earliest possible time. 

The friar, pleased beyond measure and eager 
to do service to the prince, betook himself towards 
the house of the damsel as soon as he had dis- 
mounted from his beast. Then, having made the 
sign which had been agreed between themselves 
a sign which she observed and understood the ut- 
most pleasure the damsel duly repaired on the 
following morning to the spot which had been 
chosen; and there, when she met the friar, he said 
to her: 

"My dear lord, who for your pleasure arrived 
last night in Naples, commends himself to you. I 
have set before him at full lenght the purport of 
the converse betwixt you and me, but I could not 

88 



THE DAMSEL AND THE PRINCE. 

draw from his lips any other reply except that he 
prays and conjures you, by the perfect love which 
he has for so long a time borne and still bears to 
you, and also by that love which you should duti- 
fully entertain towards him, that it will please you, 
on this same evening, to give him a kindly audien- 
ce in order that he may, without needing to confide 
in any living man, lay bare to you those matters 
which he has kept hitherto, and still keeps, secur- 
ed by a strong lock within his passionate breast." 

The friar then betook himself straightway to 
these words, was so vastly overjoyed that she could 
with difficulty contain herself within her skin, 
now felt that every hour would be as a thousand 
years until she should find herself engaged in the 
supreme conclusions of love; and, after a few 
feeble denials and hesitations, answered that she 
was ready to do what the prince desired. She did 
not quit the friar's company until they had, in dis- 
creet wise, settled when and in what manner and 
in what place she and the prince should come to- 
gether for the amorous battle. 

Tre frair then betook himself straightway to 
his beloved lord and prince, who indeed was 
awaiting him and his answer. Then he set forth 
everything to the prince, who, when himseemed 
that the appointed time had come, went with his 
attendants to the meeting-place, and there he 
found the lovely young damsel, who, delicately ar- 
rayed and perfumed, received him with open arms 
and exceeding great delight. 

Then, after countless kisses had been given 
and received by the prince, they got on board their 
bark, and after the helm had been duly set and the 
sails spread to the wind, the damsel, what though 

89 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

she was not as yet greatly versed in the mariner's 
art, let her lover navigate the sea of love during 
all the time they were able to spend together. 
When at last they found themselves with great de- 
light once more in port, the damsel, tenderly clasp- 
ing the neck of the prince with her arms, thus ad- 
dressed him: 

"My sweetest lord, for that I alone, aided by 
my own skill and forethought, have succeeded in 
bringing you hither this first time I have but to 
thank myself, but for the future I must leave to 
the care of you and of Love the devising of the 
means whereby you may be able to show me fur- 
ther proofs of your passion. Now there remains 
nothing more for me to say except that I recom- 
med myself without ceasing to your favour." 

Thereupon the illustrious lord the prince 
heartened her with soft and tender words, and 
they then took leave of one another with great 
pleasure and delight; and if anyone should still 
wish to know whether, and in what fashion, this 
love of theirs bore further fruit, let him inquire on 
his own behalf. 



90 



EXCURSUS TO THE DAMSEL AND THE 
PRINCE. 



Because Masuccio so far as the general 
public is concerned may be counted among the 
lesser-known of the Novellieri of the Cinquecento, 
it may not be inappropriate to give a few details 
of his life and work. To this purpose we cannot do 
better than quote from the admirable introduction 
to Mr. W. G. Waters' translation of the Novellino, 
whence is taken our story of The Damsel and the 
Prince. 

Masuccio, says Mr. Waters, "was probably 

born about 1420 Seeing that he was Sanseveri- 

no's secretary, and that the great majority of his 
novels are dedicated to prominent Neapolitans, it 
may be assumed that his life was chiefly spent in 
Naples and the neighbourhood After 1474 Ma- 
succio fades entirely from view. 

"Masuccio seems to have rated himself as one 

with a message to deliver his phraseology gives 

one the impression that he wrote with his feelings 

at white heat In the very Prologue to the work 

he announces his primary theme, by proclaiming 

himself the scouter of priestly vices If the words 

which a man speaks or writes are ever to be taken 
as evidence of the mind that is in him, then assur- 
edly Masuccio may be credited with ardent hatred 

91 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

of the offences he denounces.* Putting aside oc- 
casional lapses into licentiousness of expression as 
accidents inseparable from the age in which he 
wrote, it is almost impossible to doubt his sincerity 
as a would-be reformer of manners 

" Masuccio's canvas is a limited one. few 

of his stories are in the vein of genuine buffo, a few 
more are tragedies pure and simple, but the major- 
ity of the residue will be found to treat of one or 
other of his two particular themes, the castigation 
of profligate clerics and unchaste women. He dev- 
otes one part of the work to each of these specially; 
but in the other parts he never lets a friar or a wo- 
man escape the lash if he finds the chance of a lay- 
ing it on. 

"The most scathing passages are those 

which occur here and there in the 'Masuccio' at 
the end of his stories As an instance may be quot- 
ed the conclusion to Novel XXIII, in which, after 
screaming himself hoarse over the crimes of wo- 
men, he finishes with these words: 

" Would that it had been God's pleasure and 
Nature's to have suffered us to be brought forth 
from the oak-trees, or indeed to have been engend- 
ered from water and mire like the frogs in the 
humid rains of summer, rather than to have taken 
our origin from so base, so corrupt, and so vilely 
fashioned a sex as womankind.' ' 

As a further example of Masuccio's hatred of 
women, Mr. Waters cites "the frightful indictment 



* Masuccio, of course, cannot claim any peculiar virtue in this 
resepct, lust in the guise or under the cloak of (religion bejngf ^ 
favorite theme of mediaeval and even later novelists. We shall deal 
at length with the subject in the second volume of Anthologica Rar- 
issima: The Way of a Priest. 

92 



EXCURSUS. 

at the end of Novel VI. which he prefers against 
women who put on the habit of religious houses." 
We might do worse than quote it: 

" I keep silence, likewise, concerning all 

that might be said on the subject of the marriage 

of these women with friars how they make 

sumptuous marriages feasts, inviting thereto from 
this convent and that their friends, who present 
themselves with equipages laden with all manner 

of rich goods With the consent of the abbess and 

of their prelate they execute marriage contracts, 
duly written and sealed ; and then, having supped 
of all manner or sumptuous meats, and performed 
every other ceremony pertaining to the rite of 
marriage, they go to bed one with another without 
showing any fear or shame, just as if their union 
had been contracted with the full sanction of their 
own fathers, and by the laws of marriage "* 

Space will not permit us, however, to deal in 
extenso with Masuccio's hatred of priest and wo- 
man. We can best refer the reader to his Novel- 
lino, or to such extracts as we shall make from 
them in subsequent volumes of Anihologica Raris- 
sima. Our purpose, in the foregoing sketch, was to 
give some slight impression of the aims and men- 
tality of the author of the stories reproduced in 
this particular volume. 



* C.f. The New Metamorphosis, or The Golden Ass of Apuleius 
altered and improved to Modern Times, by Carlo Socio: London, 1822, 
extracts from which, exactly germane to Masuccio's denunciation, will 
be found in vol. 2 of Anthologica Rarissima: The Way of a Priest. 

93 



THE PENITENT NUN.* 



Dame Jane a sprightly Nun, and gay, 

And formed of very yielding Clay, 
Had long with resolution strove 

To guard against the Shafts of Love. 
Fond Cupid smiling, spies the Fair, 

And soon he baffles all her Care, 
In vain she tries her Pain to smother, 

The Nymph too frail, the Nymph too frail, 

becomes a Mother. 
But now these little Follies o'er. 

She firmly vows she'll sin no more; 
No more to Vice will fall a Prey, 

But spend in Prayer each fleeting Day. 
Close in her Cell immur'd she lies, 

Nor from the Cross removes her Eyes; 
Whilst Sisters crouding at the Crate, 

Spend all their Times, spend all their Time 

in Wordly Prate. 
The Abbess, overjoy'd to find 

This happy Change in Jenny's Mind, 
The rest, with Air compos'd, addressing, 

"Daughters, if you expect a Blessing, 
"From pious Jane, Example take, 

"The World and all its Joys forsake." 
"We will (they all replied as One) 

"But first let's do as Jane has done." 



*J.S.Farmer: Merry Songs and Ballads: vol. 5: by John Lock- 
man: from Muscial Miscellany, (1731). Farmer, of course, is the editor 
and compiler of Slang and its Analogues, to which we make constant 
reference. 

94 



BEYOND THE MARK.* 



Of a shepherd who made an agreement with a 
shepherdess that he should mount upon her "in or- 
der that he might see farther/' but was not to pe- 
netrate beyond a mark which she herself made 
with her hand upon the instrument of the said 
shepherd as will more plainly appear hereafter. 



T ISTEN, an it please ye, to what happened, near 
Lille, to a shepherd and a young shepherdess 
who tended their flocks together, or near together. 
Nature had already stirred in them, and they 
were of an age to know "the way of the world," so 
one day an agreement was made between them 
that the shepherd should mount on the shepher- 
dess "in order" to see farther,""!" provided, how- 
ever, that he should not penetrate beyond a mark 
which she made with her hand upon the natural 
instrument of the shepherd, and which was about 
two fingers' breadth below the head; and the 



* Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles: "now first done into the English 
tongue by Robert B. Douglas, (One Hundred Merrie and Delightsome 
Stories)": Paris, Charles Carrington, 1899 (?) : 82nd story. The editors 
of Anthologica Rarissima have taken slight liberties with Mr. Douglas' 
translation, deeming archaic phraseology more fitting to the atmos- 
phere of the narrative. 

fThe phrase has passed into use as an accepted slang term 
for the sexual act. 

95 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

mark was made with a blackberry taken from the 
hedge. 

That being done, they began God's work, and 
the shepherd pushed in as though it had cost him 
no trouble, and without thinking about any mark 
or sign, or the promise he had made to the shep- 
herdess, for all that he had it buried up to the hilt, 
and if he had more he would have found a place 
to put it. 

The pretty shepherdess, who had never had 
such a wedding, enjoyed herself so much that she 
would willingly have done nothing else all her 
life. The battle being ended, both went to look 
after their sheep, which had meanwhile strayed 
some distance. They being brought together again, 
the shepherd, who was called Hacquin, to pass the 
time, sat in a swing set up between two hedges, and 
there he swung, as happy as a king. 

The shepherdess sat by the side of a ditch, and 
made a wreath of flowers. She sang a little song, 
hoping that it would attract the shepherd, and he 
would begin the game over again; but that was 
very far from his thoughts. When she found he 
did not come, she began to call: "Hacquin! 
Hacquin!" 

And he replied: "What wantest thou?" 

"Come hither! Come hither! Wilt thou?" 
said she. 

But Hacquin had had a surfeit of pleasure 
and made answer: 

"In God's name, leave me alone. I do naught. 
I enjoy myself." 

Then the shepherdess cried: 

"Come hither, Hacquin; I will let thee go in 
further, without any mark." 

96 



BEYOND THE MARK 

"By St. John," said Hacquin, "I went far be- 
yond the mark, and I do not want any more." 

He would not go to the shepherdess, who was 
much vexed to have to remain idle.* 



* Songs of the Groves: Records of the Ancient World, (The 
Vine Press: Steyning, Sussex: 1921), has a singularly charming 
account of a rustic courtship. The Wooing, the poem to which we 
refer, is a rendering from the Greek of Theocritus, and is remark- 
able for the vivid picture conjured up before our eyes in a few 
lines of verse. Daphnis, a young sheperd, and a maiden, discourse of 
love and marriage; eventually she yields to his passion: 
"Remove your hand, you satyr; do not seek my blossoms so!" 
"Just a first glance! Oh! I must see those snowy flowers of mine!" 
"O Pan! Pan! I'm fainting! Take away that hand of thine!" 
"Darling, look up! Don't tremble so! Why fear your Lycidas?" 
"Oh, Daphnis! I shall spoil my robe; it's filthy on this grass." 
"But just see here! the softest fleece aver your robe I've thrown." 
"Ah me! Oh! Don't undo my belt! Why do you loose my zone?" 
"Because the Paphian Queen must have it for an offering." 
"Some one will come! I hear a noise! Leave off, you cruel thing!" 
"A noise? My cypresses: they murmur how my darling weds." 
"Oh, 1 am bare! You've torn my robe into a string of shreds!" 
"A better robe I'll give you soon; a larger robe I'll buy." 
"Oh, yes! You'll give me all, when soon salt even you'll deny" 
"Oh, I could pour my soul into you for your dear delight!" 
"Forgive, O Artemis, forgive your faithless acolyte." 
"Venus shall have an ox; a calf for Cupid I will burn." 
"A virgin came I hither, but a woman shall return." 
"The nurse, the mother, of my babes, now never more a maid." 
So with young limbs entwined in love all joyously they played, 
Soft-murmuring each to each; then from their secret couch they leap: 
She, when she had arisen, went away to feed her sheep; 
Shame was in her eyes, but her heart beat high above: 
Joyous, he went to feed his flocks, glad from the bed of love. 



97 



THE DEVIL IN HELL.* 



TN the city of Capsa in Barbary there was afore- 
time a very rich man, who, among his other 
children, had a fair and winsome young daughter, 
by name Alibech. She, not being a Christian and 
hearing many Christian who abode in the might- 
ily extol the Christian faith and the service of 
God, one day questioned one of them in what man- 
ner one might avail to serve God with the least 
hindrance. The other answered that they best 
served God who most strictly eschewed the things 
of the world, as those did who had betaken them 
into the solitudes of the deserts of Thebai's. 

The girl, who was maybe fourteen years old 
and very simple, moved by no ordered desire, but 
by some childish fancy, set off next morning by 
stealth and all alone, to go to the desert of Thebai's 
without letting any know her intent. 

After some days, her desire persisting, she 
won, with no little toil, to the deserts in question 
and seeing a hut afar off, went thither and found 
at the door a holy man, who marvelled tor 
see her there and asked her what she sought. She 
replied that, being inspired of God, she went seek- 



* The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio, translated by Johns 
Payne, Villon Society, 1884. See Excursus to this story. 

98 



THE DEVIL IN HELL. 

ing to enter into His service and was now in quest 
of one who should teach her how it behoved to 
serve Him. 

The worthy man, seeing her young and very 
fair and fearing lest, as he entertained her, the 
devil should beguile him, commended her pious 
intent and giving her somewhat to eat and herbs 
and wild apples and dates and to drink of water, 
said to her: 

"Daughter mine, not far hence is a holy man, 
who is a much better master than I of that which 
thou goest seeking; do thou betake thyself to him;" 
and put her in the way. However, when she reach- 
ed the man in question, she had of him the same 
answer and faring farther, came to the cell of a 
young hermit, a very devout and good man, whose 
name was Rustico and to whom she made the same 
request as she had done to the others. 

He, having a mind to make a trial of his own 
constancy, sent her not away, as the others had 
done, but received her into his cell, and the night 
being come, he made her a little bed of palm- 
fronds and bade her lie down to rest thereon. 

This done, temptations tarried not to give 
battle to his powers of resistance and he, finding 
himself grossly deceived by these latter, turned 
tail, without many assaults, and confessed himself 
beaten; then, laying aside devout thoughts and 
orisons and mortifications, he fell to revolving in 
his memory the youth and beauty of the damsel 
and bethinking himself what course he should 
take with her, so as to win to that which he desired 
of her, without her taking him for a debauched 
fellow. 

Accordingly, having sounded her with sun- 

99 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

dry questions, he found that she had never known 
man and was in truth as simple as she seemed; 
wherefore he bethought, him, how, under colour 
of the service of God, he might bring her to his 
pleasures. In the first place, he showed her with 
many words how great an enemy the devil was of 
God the Lord and after gave her to understand 
that the most acceptable service that could be ren- 
dered to God was to put back the devil in hell, 
whereto He had condemned him. The girl asked 
him how this might be done; and he, "Thou shalt 
soon know that; do thou but as thou shalt see me 
do." So saying, he proceeded to put off the few 
garments he had and abode stark naked, as like- 
wise did the girl, whereupon he fell on his knees, 
as he would pray, and caused her abide over 
against himself. 

Matters standing thus and Rustico being more 
than ever inflamed in his desires to see her so fair, 
there came the resurrection of the flesh, which Ali- 
bech observing and marvelling: 

"Rustico," quoth she, "What is that I see on 
thee which thrusteth forth thus and which I have 
not?" 

"Faith, daughter mine," answered he, "this is 
the devil whereof I bespoke thee; and see now, he 
giveth me such sore annoy that I can scarce put up 
with it." 

Then said the girl : 

"Now praised be God! I see I fare better than 
thou, in that I have none of yonder devil." 

"True," rejoined Rustico; "but thou hast 
overwhat that I have not, and thou hast it instead 
of this." 

"What is that?" asked Alibech; and he: 

100 



THE DEVIL IN HELL. 

"Thou hast hell, and I tell thee methinketh 
God hath sent thee hither for my soul's health, for 
that, whenas this devil doth me this annoy, an it 
please thee have so much compassion on me as to 
suffer me put him back into hell, thou wilt give the 
utmost solacement and wilt do God a very great 
pleasure and service, so indeed thou be come into 
these parts to do as thou sayest." 

The girl answered in good faith: 

"Marry, father mine, since I have hell, be it 
whensoever it pleaseth thee;" whereupon quoth 
Rustico : 

"Daughter, blessed be thou; let us go then 
and put himj)ack there, so he may after leave me 
in peace." 

So saying, he laid her on one of their little 
beds and taught her how she should do to imprison 
that accursed one of God. The girl, who had never 
yet put any devil in hell, for the first time felt some 
little pain; wherefore she said to Rustico: 

"Certes, father mine, this same devil must be 
an ill thing and an enemy in very deed of God, for 
that it irketh hell itself, let be otherwhat, when he 
is put back therein." 

"Daughter," answered Rustico, "it will not 
always happen thus;" and to the end this should 
not happen, six times, or ever they stirred from 
the bed, they put him in hell again, insomuch that 
for the nonce they so took the conceit out of his 
head that he willingly abode at peace. But, it re- 
turning to him again and again the ensuing days 
and the obedient girl still lending herself to take 
it out of him, it befell that the sport began to please 
her and she said to Rustico: 

"I see now that those good people in Capsa 

101 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

spoke sooth, when they avouched that it was so 
sweet a thing to serve God; for certes, I remember 
me not to have ever done aught that afforded me 
such pleasance and delight as putting the devil in 
hell; wherefore methinketh that whoso applieth 
himself unto aught other than God His service is 
a fool." 

Accordingly, she came oftimes to Rustico and 
said to him: 

"Father mine, I came here to serve God and 
not to abide idle; let us go put the devil in hell." 
Which doing, she said whiles: 

"Rustico, I know not why the devil fleeth 
away from hell; for, an he abode there as willing- 
ly as hell receivedhim and holdeth him, he would 
never come forth therefrom." 

The girl, then, on this wise often inviting Ru- 
stico and exhorting him to the service of God, so 
took the bombast out of his boublet that he felt cold 
what time another had sweated ; wherefore he fell 
to telling her that the devil was not to be chastised 
nor put into hell, save whenas he should lift up his 
head for pride. 

"And we,"added he, "by God's grace, have so 
baffled him that he prayeth our Lord to suffer him 
abide in peace;" and on this wise he for awhile im- 
posed silence on her.. 

However, when she saw that he required her 
not of putting the devil in hell, she said to him one 
day: 

"Rustico, an thy devil be chastened and give 
thee no more annoy, my hell letteth me not be; 
wherefore thou wilt do well to aid me with thy de- 
vil in abating the raging of my hell, even as with 

102 



THE DEVIL IN HELL. 

my hell I have helped thee the conceit out of thy 
devil." 

Rustico, who lived on roots and water,' 
could ill avail to answer her calls and told her that 
it would need overmany devils to appeace hell, but 
he would do what he might thereof. Accordingly 
he satisfied her bytimes, but so seldom it was but 
casting a bean into the lion's mouth; whereat the 
girl, herseeming she served not God as diligently 
as she would faith have done, murmured some- 
what. 

But, whilst this debate was toward between 
Rustico his devil and Alibech her hell, for over- 
much desire on the one part and lack of power on 
the other, it befell that a fire broke out in Capsa 
and burnt Alibech's father in his own house, with 
as many children and other family as he had; by 
reason whereof she abode heir to all his^good. 

Thereupon, a young man called Neerbale^ 
who had spent all his substance in gallantry, hear- 
ing that she was alive, set out in search of her and 
finding her, before the court (i.e., the govern- 
ment) had laid hands upon her father's estate, as 
that of a man dying without heir, to Rustico's great 
satisfaction, but against her own will, brought her 
back to Capsa, where he took her to wife and suc- 
ceeded, in her right, to the ample inheritance of 
her father. 

There, being asked by the women at what she 
served God in the desert, she answered (Neerbale 
having not yet lain with her) that she served Him 
at putting the devil in hell and that Neerbale had 
done a grievous sin in that he had taken her from 
such service. 

The ladies asked : 

103 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

"How putteth one the devil in hell?" 

And the girl, what with words and what with 
gestures, expounded it to them; whereat they set 
up so great a laughing that they laugh yet and 
said: 

"Give yourself no concern, my child; nay, for 
that is done here also and Neerbale will serve our 
Lord full well with thee at this." 

Thereafter, telling it from one to another 
throughout the city, they brought it to a common 
saying there that the most acceptable service one 
could render to God was to put the devil in hell, 
which byword, having passed the sea hither, is yet 
current here. Wherefore do all young ladies, who 
have need of God's grace, learn to put the devil 
in hell, for that this is highly acceptable to Him 
and pleasing to both parties and much good may 
grow and ensue thereof. 



104 



EXCURSUS TO THE DEVIL IN HELL. 



Boccaccio's immortal story of Alibech who 
"turned hermit and was taught by Rustico, a monk, 
to put the devil in hell" has been drawn upon or 
brazenly copied by innumerable raconteurs. La 
Fontaine has an exactly similar story. "To put the 
devil in hell" has passed into use as an accepted 
slang term for the act of copulation. Hell, in En- 
glish, and Enfer in French, are erotic synonyms 
for the female pudendum, as are devil and diable 
for the male organ of generation. (C.f. Farmer: 
Slang and its Analogues and Vocabula Amatoria; 
also Landes: Glossaire erotique de la langue fran- 
$aise.) "Vainly doth hell her prisoner recall," says 
La Fontaine; "the devil is dub." 

It is a moot point whether "The Devil in 
Hell" should have been included in this or the sub- 
sequent volume, The Way of a Priest. It seems to 
us, however, that the woman's part transcends the 
man's throughout, and for that reason we prefer 
to look upon the story as illustrating a phase of vir- 
ginity rather than as an example of priestly lust. 

Boccaccio's "Nightingale," which is also 
given in this volume, has provided yet another 
French slang term for the penis. "To put the 
nightingale in its cage or nest" is a fanciful but 
frequent description of the venereal act. (C.t. Pie- 

105 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

tro Aretino's Dialogues: i. The Life of Nuns: En- 
glish and French translations: Liseux, Paris, 1889 
and 1882.) On the other hand, nightingale, in old 
English slang, denoted a prostitute. (Farmer: 
Slang and its Analogues.} 

The inclusion of any of Boccaccio's tales in 
this volume has not gone uncritised by friends and 
advisers. "The Decameron'' they argue, is acces- 
sible to all; it is hackneyed nowdays." If the fre- 
quent issue of cheap, castrated andbadly-produced 
editions of the immortal work are these so-called 
means of access, the argument is a poor one. 

Boccaccio, to be appreciated, must be read in 
the original, unexpurgated Italian, or, at any rate, 
in a translation which is equally free and is the 
work of a scholar and booklover. Some of Boccac- 
cio's stories are fitly classed as the world's best, and 
among these "The Devil in Hell" takes place. It is 
a story that has lived for centuries and will live 
while literature lasts. 

Further, so far as we know, in one English 
translation alone, Payne's (vide note ante, p. 56,) 
is this story told in its entirely in our own langua- 
ge; in other editions the most dramatic part of the 
narative, the part, in fact, which makes the story, 
is invariably rendered in Italian or French, or is 
hopelessly bowdlerised. Thus is prudery satisfied 
and genius mocked. "The Devil in Hell" is strong 
fare assuredly, but it is served up in so artistic a 
manner as to please even the most delicate palate. 



106 



THE WEDDING NIGHT OF JEAN 
THE FOOL.* 



"lV/f OTHER m i ne >" quoth Jean the Fool "I would 
iyX marry." 

"Thou wouldst marry, poor innocent? And 
what wouldst thou do with a woman? And who 
would want thee? To marry, thou must have cul- 
ture at thy back (for thus they term those who 
have wordly goods), and thou hast none. Further- 
more, thou must pay court to the maidens, and 
thou art too great a fool to know how to do that."' 

"What doth one do when he goeth to visit the 
maidens?" 

"One goeth to them when they hold a party, 
one indulgeth in all manner of drolleries, one 
pincheth them, one snatcheth their handkerchiefs 
when they blow their noses, one pulleth at their 
petticoats, and one laugheth." 

"Good," said Jean to himself; and went out. 

Passing down a road, narrow and filled with 
mire, he sat down, and when he felt he had suffi- 
cient 'cultivation' on his backside, he went to a 
farm where there was a party. The youths and 
maidens, when they saw Jean the Idiot enter all 
smeared with mire, drew back to make room for 

* Kruptadia : Hetlbronn, Henninger Frres, 1884: vol. 2, Breton 
Folk Lore. 

107 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

him, lest they themselves be soiled. In the end he 
found in the lobby a stool on which he sat near one 
of the maidens, whom he scrutinised closely. 

She drew away from him; Jean pinched her, 
rudely snatched away her handkerchief when she 
sought to make use of it, and laughed like a fool. 
Then, thinking to succeed with her, he tugged so 
violently at her petticoat that he broke the strings 
that held it up. The maiden, half undressed, was 
enraged, and Jean was kicked out of doors, amid 
the shouting and jeering of the entire company. 

From this moment Jean the Fool had no des- 
ire to pay court to maidens. But his mother, who 
felt herself growing old and had need of a daugh- 
ter-in-law to aid her, said to him one day: 

"Jean, thou must marry." 

"Nay, indeed, mother mine. I was tricked 
enough when I saw the maidens." 

"Nevertheless, 'tis good to be married. Thy 
wife will give thee a chicken to eat."* 

Jean gave his consent and was married. When 
he was abed with his wife, he believed that she 
would serve up a chicken for him, and he said to 
her: 

"Give it me." 

"Take it," answered his wife. 

"Give it me, I tell thee." 

"Take it, then." 

Thus passed the night, and on the morrow 



* The play on words here is somewhat obscure. Manger un 
poulet is not a slang term for the sexual act. Interpreting freely, we 
might read: "Will give thee a chicken to pluck," i.e. : her virginity. 
This is borne out by the wife's subsequent behaviour. On the other 
hand, the mother may be speaking simply and literally. 

108 



JEAN THE FOOL. 

Jean the Fool went weeping to his mother, saying: 

"Mother, I begged her for it, and she would 
not give it me." \ 

"He lieth!" cried the wife. "I have told him 
to take it if he wished it." 

And she went to complain to her mother that 
she had married and idiot, who passed the whole 
night saying "Give it me" without doing aught 
else. The good woman saw clearly that her son-in- 
law was foolish, and she bade him on the follow- 
ing night mount upon his wife and thrust at a spot 
where he felt some hair. 

Jean did as he was counselled, but instead of 
stretching himself at full lenght upon her, laid 
himself across his wife and began to thrust with 
all his force, but without success, as one can well 
imagine, a woman's slit not being at the same 
angle as her mouth. 

Nor was it until the third night that Jean the 
Fool learned how he must comport himself to have 
a chicken, and then he found it very much to his 
taste and his wife also.* 



* We make no apology for the frequent extracts from Kruptadia 
to be found in this volume and those to follow of Anthologica Rarissima. 
Kruptadia; perhaps the most remarkable recueil of folk lore stories, 
songs, sayings and proverbs in the world, is a work far too little 
known to the student and bibliophile. Its rarity may be explained 
by the fact that comparatively few copies of each volume were struck 
off. Of Vol. 2, from which "The Wedding Night of Jean the Fool" 
is taken, only 135 numbered copies were done. A complete 12 volume 
set, in the original format (the work was begun in Heilbronn by 
Henninger Freres and completed in Paris by Welter) is not often seen, 
and we count ourselves fortunate in having one before us as we write. 
Havelock Ellis frequently refers to the collection in his Studies in the 
Psychology of Sex, while Pisanus Fraxi, the great bibliographer of 
erotic, prohibited and uncommon books, was just able to notice the 
first two volumes in his Catena Librorum Tacendorum, (London: 
Privately Printed: 1885). He pays genorous tribute to the production. 
"Students of folk lore," he writes, "will hail with delight the ap- 
pearance of this well-printed and carefully got up little volume, to 

109 



THE WAV OF A VIRGIN. 

be followed, let us hope, by many others of the same kind, equally 
remarkable for talented and faithful rendering, and masterly editing." 
Dealing with the tales themselves, he goes on to say that "they reveal 
to us in an interesting and unequivocal manner the feelings, aspirations, 
modes of thought, manner of living of the people who tell them, and 
are possibly one of the most valuable contributions to the study of 

folk lore which has yet appeared They are all characteristic 

all good." Fraxi then gives the pith of "The Enchanted Ring." which 
we have already printed at length in this volume. In the concluding 
pages of his Catena Librorum Tacendorum, Fraxi states that vol. 2 of 
Ktuptadia has reached him in time to mention briefly its contents. 
Since these words were written, ten other volumes have been issued a 
veritable mine of entertaining and instructive information. We even 
go so far as to say that genuine students of folk lore and collectors of 
curious literature cannot afford to ignore Kruptadia, even as they should 
have access to Pisanus Fraxi's 3-volume work, INDEX LIBRORUM 
PROHIBITORUM, CENTURIA LIBRORUM ABSCONDITORUM, 
and CATENA LIBRORUM TACENDORUM. Possession of these 
works by all is impossible owing to their rarity, cost and small imprint. 
Not every student can afford to pay 20 to30 for the complete set of 
Kruptadia, even if he be luckly enough to chance on such a find, 
while Fraxi's amazing bibliography, in the sale room alone, commands 
about 35 ; and while the price tends steadily to increase, the appear- 
ance of the complete 3-volume set as steadily decreases. 



110 



THE MAIDEN WELL GUARDED.* 



r I ^HERE lived a maiden whose mother guarded 

her with infinite care lest some youth should 
do her ill ; and she was brought up in all innocence. 
And when she begged to go to gatherings even as 
other maids of her age, her mother was wont to 
answer her, saying: 

"Nay, my daughter, thou shalt not go, iot 
there thou art like to lose thy maindenhead." 

One day, nevertheless, Pierre, the maiden's 
lover, who was a good lad and quiet, came seek- 
ing to conduct her to an assembly, and both lad and 
maid besought the mother to let them go. In the 
end she consented, thinking in herself that Pierre 
was too honest to do her daughter ill, and she en- 
joined him guard her well. 

Behold, then, these two on their way; and as 
they went, the maiden said : 

"My mother hath strictly enjoined me guard 
my maidenhead. It seemeth that at assemblies one 
is in case to lose it. How best preserve it?" 

"Hath not thy mother shown thee a method 
of so doing?" 

"Yea," answered the maiden, "she hath en- 
joined me to press my thighs tightly together." 



* Kruptadia: Heilbronn, Hennigner Freres, 1884: Breton Folk 
Lore. 

Ill 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

Quitting the road, they entered a wood where- 
in were several streamlets, which one crossed by 
means of planks. Even as the maid walked upon 
one of these planks Pierre, who marched behind 
her, cast a stone into the water hard by the girl. 

"Alas!" cried the maiden. "What will my 
mother say? Behold, my maidenhead hath fallen 
in the water and is lost!" 

"Fear not," answered the lad. " 'Tis fortunate 
I am here. I will restore it thee. Come with me 
'neath the trees, and say naught if the business 
hurteh thee, for 'tis all for thy good." 

Then Pierre, in very sooth, 'put back' the 
maidenhead for her, and shortly afterward they 
came to the second plank. Even as the girl stood 
upon it, two or three frogs, slumbering at the 
streamside, were affrighted and hopped into the 
water, which spirted up 'neath the maiden. 

"Ah! Pierre!" cried she. " 'Tis lost again! It 
seemeth that it was not firm. 'Twas most wrong of 
thee not to have put it back more firmly." 

"Say no more," answered Pierre. "I will 
again put it back." 

And when the maidenhead had been put back 
for the second time, they went on, reaching the as- 
sembly, where they diverted themselves as did the 
others. 

On their return journey, even as the young 
girl passed over a plank, Pierre cast in the water an 
apple which he had in his pocket. 

"What will my mother say?" cried the girl. 
" 'Tis the third time I have lost it to-day!" 

"Fear not," quoth Pierre. "I am about to sew 
it on again." 

When the maidenhead had been resewed, the 

112 



THE MAIDEN WELL GUARDED. 

girl, who was acquiring a taste for this form of 
embroidery, said to Pierre: 

" 'Tis not sewen sufficiently firm." 

"Indeed it is." 

" 'Tis not." 

"But I have no more thread." 

"Miserable deceiver!" cried the girl. "He 
saith he hath no more thread, yet all the while he 
possesseth two great balls of it!"* 



* Peloton is the word in the text, signifying, literally, a ball 
made of things (thread, silk or wool) wound round it. The play on 
words is remarkable apt in the last few lines of the story, peloton 
exactly connoting, in the mind of the simple girl, the youth's testicles 
and pubic hair. 



113 



VARIANT. 



Beroalde de Verville, in Le Moyen de Parve- 
nir, has a similar tale. As it differs in several res- 
pects from our Kruptadia version, we give it here. 
Our extract is from Arthur Machen's text, which 
is, so far as we know, the only English translation 
of the old French Canon's much censured work.* 
Donatus, one of the characters in the book, is 
speaking: 

That's like the case of my landlady's daugh- 
ter One day this young wench desired to go to 

a bride-ale, and asked leave of her mother, who 
granted it on the condition that she would solemn- 
ly, paragraphically, and distinctively promise to 
keep her maidenhead,! to which condition the girl 
agreed with all her heart. 

So she went away to the wedding, and set her- 
self to keep guard o'er her maidenhead. The lasses 
and lads all danced away, but she not a step, nor 
did she dare approach the board where the others 
were engaged in the quitessential operation of 
making ordure with the teeth. The poor girl stay- 
ed all the time in a corner of the room, with her 
two hands at the bottom of her stomach, just op- 
posite to the diameter (I mean opposite to the 

*Frantasic Tales or The Way to Attain: A Book full of Pan- 
tagruelism : Now for the first time done into English by Arthur 
Machen: Privately Printed: Carbonnek, 1890. We shall return to the 
subject of De Verville's work in a later page of this volume. 

fThe word is ours. Machen translates "honour." 

114 



VARIANT. 

centre which so far was cut by no diameter) . Coy- 
peau, seeing her thus dung in the mouth (I should 
say, down in the mouth) came up to her and said: 

"What cheer, Cozj^ shall we fool it awhile?" 

"Nay, I dare not, for fear I lose my maiden- 
head; my mother bade me take great care of it." 

"Oh, Oh," says he, "and is that all? Why Coz, 
sweet Coz, follow to this little closet, and I'll sew 
it up so tight it shall never fall out." 

All this he said in a whisper, but she heard 
him well enough, for she was fain to be a-dancing; 
and so she followed him. He then proceeded to 
show her how the wolf dances with his tail bet- 
ween his legs, and sewed up her maidenhead so 
securely that he told her it would never fall out by 
that way. 

Thereupon she began to dance, and enjoyed 
herself to her heart's content; but she liked needle- 
work so well that she asked for some more, and had 
three stitches. (That was enough in all conscience, 
though I have threaded the needle* for Madel- 
eine forty-five times in forty-four hours; five by 
night and by day forte.) Coypeau was not quite 
so strong as that, but he gave the poor girl a great 
treat. She ate some sweetmeats, and feeling 
ashamed no longer, bethought her of her maiden- 
head, and went up to him, and asked him if he 
would give it another stitch. 

"Faith!" said he, "I can't, I haven't any more 
thread." 

"Come, Come," quoth she, "I thought I saw 
two nice little balls of thread." 



* Enfiler une aiguille, more usually ,enfiler. The expression 
is common to most erotic writers. Vide various erotic lexicographers 
quoted ante. 

115 



TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN.* 



King Shahriman had a son, Kamar al-Zaman, 
who "grew up of surpassing beauty and symme- 
try ," but was unwilling to marry. For this he is 
eventually cast into prison. A similar fate has be- 
fallen Princess Budur, daughter of King Ghayur, 
Lord of China Islands and Seas, and for a similar 
reason. The maiden is pictured as one "than whom 

Allah hath made none fairer in her time with 

cheeks like purple wine... lips as coral. breasts 

like two globes of ivory, from whose brightness the 
moons borrow light, and a stomach with little 

waves as it were a figured cloth with crease like 

folded scrolls, ending in a waist slender past all 
imagination; based upon back parts like a hillock 
of blown sand, that force her to sit when she would 
lief stand " 

Two genii, Maymunah, a woman, and Dah- 
nash, a man,now come into the story, the former as 
a champion of Kamar, the latter as Princess Bu- 
dur's. After a long dispute as to the rival charms 
of Prince and Princess, they convey the latter to 



* The Thousands Nights and a Night, translated by Sir Rich- 
ard F. Burton, and printed by the Burton Club for private subscribers 
only: Lauristan Edition, limited to 1,000 numbered sets. As the story 
in the original is of considerable length, we have summarised por- 
tions of it, retaining in its entirely that part of the text which will 
appeal most to the bibliophile. The paragraphing, also, is in many cases 
our own. 

116 



TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN. 

the Prince's side, the test of beauty to be as fol- 
lows : 

Each is to be awakened in turn, without 
knowledge of the other, and whichever is the more 
enamoured will be held inferior in comeliness. 

Dahnash then changes himself into a Yea, and 
bites Kamar al-lLaman, who wakes up. The text 
continues: 

Then turning sideways, he found lying by 

him something whose breath was sweeter than 
musk and whose skin was softer than cream. Here- 
at he marvelled with great marvel, and he sat up 
and looked at what lay beside him; when he saw 
it to be a young lady like an union pearl, or a shin- 
ing sun, or a dome seen from afar on a well-built 

wall : for she was five feet tall bosomed high and 

rosy-cheeked 

And when Kamar al-Zaman saw the lady Bu- 
dur, daughter of King Ghayur, and her beauty 
and comeliness, she was sleeping clad in a shift of 
Venetian silk, without her petticoat trousers, and 
wore on her head a kerchief embroidered with 
gold and set with stones of price; her ears were 
hung with twin earrings which shone like constel- 
lations, and round her neck was a collar of union 
pearls, of size unique, past the competence of any 
king. 

When he saw this, his reason was confounded 
and natural heat began to stir in him; Allah awoke 
in him the desire of coition and he said to himself: 

"Whatso Allah willeth, that shall be, and 
what he willeth not shall be!" 

So saying, he put out his hand, turning her 
over, loosed the collar of her chemise; then arose 
before his sight her bosom, with its breasts like 

117 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

double globes of ivory; whereat his inclination for 
her redoubled and he desired her with exceeding 
hot desire. He would have awakened her but she 
would not awake, for Dahnash had made her 
sleep heavy; so he shook her and moved her, 
saying: 

"O my beloved, awake and look on me ; I am 
Kamar al-Zaman." 

But she awoke not, neither moved her head ; 
whereupon he considered her case for a long hour 
and said to himself: 

"If I guess aright, this is the damsel to whom 
my father would have married me, and these three 
years I have refused her; but Inshallah! God 
willing as soon as it is dawn, I will say to him: 
Marry me to her, that I may enjoy her; nor will I 
let half the day pass ere I possess her and take my 
fill of her beauty and loveliness." 

Then he bent over Budur to buss her, whereat 
the Jinniyah Maymunah trembled and was abash- 
ed and Dahnash, the Ifrit, was like to fly for joy. 
But as Kamar al-Zaman was about to kiss her on 
the mouth, he was ashamed before Allah and 
turned away his head and averted his face, saying 
to his heart: "Have patience." 

Then he took thought awhile and said : 

"I will be patient; haply my father when he 
was wroth with me and sent me to his jail, may 
have brought my young lady and made her lie by 
my side to try me with her, and may have charged 
her not to be readily awakened when I would 
arouse her, and may have said to her: 

" 'Whatever thing Kamar al-Zaman do to 
thee, make me ware thereof; 

"Or belike my sire standeth hidden in some 

118 



TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN. 

stead whence (being himself unseen) he can see 
all I do with this young lady; and to-morrow he 
will scold me and cry: 

" 'How cometh it that thou sayest, I have no 
mind to marry; and yet thou didst and embrace 
yonder damsel?' 

"So I will withhold myself lest I be ashamed 
before my sire; and the right and proper thing to 
do is not to touch her at this present, nor even to 
look upon her, except to take from her somewhat 
which shall serve as a token to me and a memorial 
of her; that some sign endure between me and her." 

Then Kamar al-Zaman raised the young 
lady's hand and took from her littre finger a seal- 
ring worth an immense amount of money, for that 

its bezel was a precious jewel and set it on his 

own; then, turning his back to her, went to sleep.* 

Thereupon Maymunah changed herself into 
a flea and entering into the raiment of Budur, the 
loved of Dahnash, crept up her calf and came up- 
on her thigh and, reaching a place some four ca- 
ratst below her navel, there bit her. Thereupon 
she opened her eyes and sitting up in bed, saw a 
youth lying beside her and breathing heavily in 
his sleep, the loveliest of Almighty Allah's crea- 
tures, with eyes that put to shame the fairest 
Houris of Heaven; and a mouth like Solomon's 
seal, whose water was sweeter to the taste and more 
efficacious than a theriack, and lips the colour of 
coral-stone, and cheeks like blood-red anemone 

"The young man," says Sir Richard Burton, in a footnote, 
"must have been a demon of chastity." 

t Carat=one finger-breath here. The derivation is from the 
Greek Keration, a bean, the seed of the abrus precatorius. Note by 
Sir Richard Burton. 

119 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

Now when Princess Budur saw him, she was 
seized by a transport of passion and yearning and 
love-longing, and she said to herself : 

"Alas, my shame! This is a strange youth and 
I know him not. How cometh he to be lying by 
my side on one bed?" 

Then she looked at him a second time and, 
noting his beauty and loveliness, said: 

"By Allah, he is indeed a comely youth and 
my heart is well-nigh torn in sunder with longing 
for him! But alas, how am I shamed by him! By 
the Almighty, had I known it was youth who 
sought me in marriage of my father, I had not re- 
jected him, but had wived with him and enjoyed 
his loveliness!" 

Then she gazed in his face and said: 

"O my lord and light of mine eyes, awake 
from sleep and take thy pleasure in my beauty and 
grace." 

And she moved him with her hand ; but May- 
munah the Jinniyah let down sleep upon him as 
it were a curtain, and pressed heavily on his head 
with her wings so that Kamar al-Zaman awoke 
not. Then Princess Budur shook him with her 
hands and said: 

"My life on thee, hearken to me; awake and 
up from thy sleep and look on the narcissus and 
the tender down thereon, and enjoy the sight of 
naked waist and navel ; and touzle me and tumble 
me from this moment till break of day! Allah up- 
on thee, O my lord, sit up andprop thee against the 
pillow and slumber not!" 

Still Kamar al-Zaman made her no reply but 
breathed hard in his sleep. Continued she: 

"Alas! Alas! thou art insolent in thy beauty 

120 



TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN. 

and comeliness and grace and loving looks! But if 
thou art handsome, so am I handsome; what then 
is this thou dost? Have they taught thee to flout 
me or hath my father, the wretched old fellow, 
made thee swear not to speak to me to-night?" 

But Kamar al-Zaman opened not his mouth 
neither awoke, whereat her passion for him redou- 
bled and Allah inflamed her heart with love of 
him. She stole one glance of eyes that cost her a 
thousand sighs: her heart fluttered, and her vitals 
throbbed and her hands and feet quivered; and she 
said to Kamar al-Zaman: 

"Talk to me, O my lord! Speak to me, O my 
friend ! Answer me, O my beloved, and tell me thy 
name, for indeed thou hast ravished my wit!" 

An during all this time he abode drowned in 
sleep and answered her not a word, and Princess 
Budur sighed and said: 

"Alas! Alas! why art thou so proud and self- 
satisfied?" 

Then she shook him and turning his hand 
over, saw her seal-ring on his little finger, whereat 
she cried a loud cry, and followed it with a sigh of 
passion and said: 

"Alack! Alack! By Allah, thou art my be- 
loved and thou lovest me! Yet thou seemest to turn 
thee away from me out of coquetry, for all, O my 
darling, thou earnest to me, whilst I was asleep and 
knew not what thou didst with me, and tookest my 
seal-ring; and yet I will not pull it off thy finger." 

So saying, she opened the bosom of his shirt 
and bent over him and kissed him and put forth 
her hand to him, seeking somewhat that she might 
take as a token, but found nothing. Then she thrust 
her hand into his breast and, because of the 

121 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

smoothness of his body, it slipped down to his waist 
and thence to his navel and thence to his yard, 
whereupon her heart ached and her vitals quiver- 
ed and lust was sore upon her, for that the desire 
of women is fiercer than the desire of men,* and 
she was ashamed of her own shamelessness. 

Then she plucked his seal-ring from his fin- 
ger, and put it on her own instead of the the ring 
he had taken, and bussed his inner lips and hands, 
nor did she leave any part of him unkissed; after 
which she took him to her breast and embraced 
him and, laying one of her hands under his neck 
and the other under his arm-pit, nestled close to 
him and fell asleep by his side. 

When Princess Budur fell asleep by the 

side of Kamar al-Zaman, after doing that which 
she did, quoth Maymunah to Dahnash: 

"Sawst thou, O accursed, how proudly and 
coquettishly my beloved bore himself, and how 
hotly and passionately thy mistress showed herself 
to my dearling? There can be no doubt that my 
beloved is handsomer than thine; nevertheless I 
pardon thee." 

The two Ifrits went forward to Princess 

Budur and upraising her flew away with her; then, 
bearing her back to her place, they laid her on her 
own bed, while Maymunah abode alone with Ka- 
mar al-Zaman, gazing upon him as he slept, till the 



* In hot-damp climates the venereal requirements and repro- 
ductive powers of the female greatly exceed those of the male ......In 

cold-dry or hot-dry mountainous lands the reverse is the case; hence 
polygamy there prevails whilst the low countries require polyandry 
in either form, legal or illegal, i.e., prostitution. Note by Sir Richard 
Burton. See, also, excursus to this story, where the subject is dealt with 
at length. 

122 



TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN. 

night was all but spent, when she went her way. As 
soon as morning morrowed, the Prince awoke 
from sleep and turned right and left, but found 
not the maiden by him and said in his mind : 

"What is this business? It is as if my father 
would incline me to marriage with the damsel who 
was with me and have now taken her away by 
stealth, to the intent that my desire for wedlock 
may redouble." 

Then he called out to the eunuch who slept at 
the door, saying: 

"Woe to thee, O damned one, arise at once!" 

So the eunuch rose, bemused with sleep, and 
brought him basin and ewer, whereupon Kamar 
al-Zaman entered the water-closet and did his 
need ;* then, coming out, made the Wuzu-ablution 
and prayed the dawn-prayer, after which he sat 
telling on his beads the ninety-and-nine names of 
Almighty Allah 

Strictly speaking, the rest of the story, 'which, 
is of great length, is somewhat out of place in this 
volume. The reader, however, may beinterested to 
know the upshot of the stratagem adopted by the 
genii, so we take leave to give it, summarising 
where necessary. 

Kamar al-T/aman and the Princess Budur, 
madly in love but grief-stricken by their separa- 
tion, are eventually brought together and married. 



* "This morning evacuation," says Sir Richard Burton, in a 

footnote, "is considered, in the East, a sine qua non of health .The 

natives of India evening as well as morning. This may, perhaps, 

partly account for their mildness and effeminacy; for: 'C'est la con- 
stipation qui rend l'homme rigoureux.' " 

123 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

Later, while on a journey, they are again separated 
by divers mischances, Kamar becoming an assist- 
ant to a gardener, while Budur, having adopted 
male garb to preserve her chastity, reaches the do- 
minios of^King Armanus. Here she is taken for a 
king's son, and Armanus, who is old, gives her his 
daughter Hay at al-Nufus in marriage and makes 
her lord of his kingdom. An embarassing situation 
now arises, Budur being unable to consummate the 
marriage or to explain her failure to the bride. 
Matters come to a crisis on the third night when 
Hay at speaks out. The text continues'. 

Hayat al-Nufus caught her by the skirt and 

clung to her, saying: 

"O my lord, art thou not ashamed before my 
father, after all his favour, to neglect me at such a 
time as this?" 

When Queen Budur heard her words, she sat 
down in the same place and said: 

"O my beloved, what is this thou sayest?" 

She replied: 

"What I say is that I never saw any so proud 
of himself as thou. Is every fair one so disdainful? 
I say not this to incline thee to me; I say it only of 
my fear for thee from King Armanus; because he 
purposeth, unless thou go in unto me this very 
night, and do away my maidenhead, to strip thee 
of the kingship on the morrow and banish thee his 
kingdom; and peradventure his excessive anger 
may lead him to slay thee. But I, O my lord, have 
ruth on thee and give thee fair warning; and it is 
thy right to reck." 

Now when Queen Budur heard her speak 
these words, she bowed her head groundwards 
awhile in sore perplexity and said in herself: 

124 



TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN. 

"If I refuse I'm lost; and if I obey I'm 
shamed. But I am now Queen of all the Ebony Is- 
lands and they are under my rule, nor shall I ever 
again meet my Kamar al-Zaman save in this place; 
for there is no way for him to his native land but 
through the Ebony Islands. Verily, I know not 
what to do in my present case, but I commit my 
care to Allah who directed all for the best, for I 
am no man that I should arise and open this virgin 
girl." 

Then quoth Queen Budur to Hayat al-Nufus: 

"O my beloved, that I have neglected thee and 
abstained from thee is in my own despite." 

And she told her her whole story from begin- 
ning to end and showed her person to her, saying: 

"I conjure you by Allah to keep my counsel, 
for I have concealed my case only that Allah may 
re-unite me with my beloved Kamar al-Zaman and 
then comewhat may." 

The Princess heard her with extreme won r 

derment and was moved to pity and prayed Allah 
to re-unite her with her beloved, saying: 

"Fear nothing, O my sister; but have patience 
till Allah bring to pass that which must come to 

pass O my sister, verily the breasts of the noble 

and brave are of secrets the grave; and I will not 
discover thine." 

Then they toyed and embraced and kissed and 
slept till near the Mu'ezzin's call to dawn-prayer, 
when Hayat al-Nufus arose and took a pigeon- 
poult,* and cut its throat over her smock and bes- 



* "The belief that young pigeons' blood resembles the virginal 
discharge is universal," says Sir Richard Burton, in a footnote; "but 

125 



TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN. 

meared herself with its blood. Then she pulled off 
her petticoat-trousers and cried aloud, whereupon 
her people hastened to her and raised the usual 
lullilooing and outcries of joy and gladness 

We can omit a description of the manner in 
which Kamar al-Uaman is at length brought to the 
Ebony Islands, 'where honour and dignity are 
heaped upon him, in particular by Queen Budur, 
whom he believs to be a man and the king of the 
dominion. Growing suspicious of these favours, 
Kamar asks permission to depart. The text 
continues: 

Answered Kamar al-Zaman: 

"O King, verily this favour, if there be no 
reason for it, is indeed a wonder of wonder, more 
by token that thou hast advanced me to dignities 
such as befit men of age and experience, albeit I 
am as it were a young child." 

And Queen Budur rejoined: 

"The reason is that I love thee for thine ex- 
ceeding loveliness and thy surpassing beauty; and 
if thou wilt but grant me my desire of thy body, I 



the blood most resembling man's is that of the pig, which in other 
points is so very human. In our day Arabs and Hindus rarely sub- 
mit to inspection the nuptial sheet, as practised by the Israelites and 
Persians. The bride takes to bed a white kerchief with which she 
stanches the blood and next morning the stains are displayed in the 
Harem. In Darfour this is done by the bridegroom. "Prima Venus 
debet esse cduenta" (Love's first battle should be bloody), say the 
Easterns with much truth, and they have no faith in our complaisant 
creed which allows the hymen membrane to disappear by any but one 
accident." The creed, of course, is not peculiar to the East, and real- 
istic descriptions of this "sanguinary combat" will be found in Nicolas 
Chorier's Dialogues, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, (op. cit,), and 
other erotic works. C.f. also the modern custom of including a clean 
sheet among the bride's trousseau. Further remarks on this subject 
will be found in our preliminary essay to this volume, "Human Nature, 
Tradition, and Virginity." 

126 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

will advance thee yet farther in honour and favour 
and largesse; and I will make thee Wazir, for all 
thy tender age, even as the folk made me Sultan 
over them and I no older than thou " 

When Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, 
he was abashed and his cheeks flushed till they 
seemed aflame; and he said: 

"I need not these favours which lead to the 
commission of sin; I will live poor in wealth but 
wealthy in virtue and honour." 

Quoth she: 

"I am not to be duped by thy scruples, arising 
from prudery and coquetish ways; and Allah bless 
him who saith : 

" To him I spake of coupling, but he said to 
me, ( Ho<w long this noyous long persistency?' 

But when gold piece I showed him, he cried, 
'Who from the Almighty Sovereign e j er shall 
fleer 

Now when Kamar al-Zaman heard these 
words and understood her verses and their import, 
he said: 

"O King, I have not the habit of these doings, 
nor have I strenght to bear these heavy burthens 
for which elder age than I proved unable; then 
how will it be with my tender age?" 

But she smiled at his speech and retorted: 

"Indeed, it is a matter right marvellous how 
error springeth from the disorder of man's intendi- 
ment! Since thou art a boy, why standest thou in 
fear of sin or the doing of things forbidden, seeing 
that thou art not yet come to the years of canonical 
responsibility; and the offences of a child incur 
neither punishment nor reproof? Verily, thou hast 
committed thyself to a quibble for the sake of con- 

127 



TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN. 

tention, and it is thy duty to bow before a proposal 
of fruition, so henceforward cease from denial and 
coyness, for the commandment of Allah is a decree 
foreordained: indeed, I have more reason than 
thou to fear falling and by sin to be misled; and 
well-inspired was he who said: 

My prickle is big and the little one said, 
'Thrust boldly in vitals 'with lion-like stroke* 

Then I, ' 'Tis a sin!' ; and he, 'No sin to me!' 
So I had him at once with a counterfeit poke."* 

When Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, 
the light became darkness in his sight and he said: 

"O King, thou hast in thy household fair wo- 
men and female slaves, who have not their like in 
this age: shall not these suffice thee without me? 
Do thy will with them and let me go!" 

She replied: 

"Thou sayest sooth, but it is not with them 
that one who loveth thee can heal himself of tor- 
ment and can abate his fever; for, when tastes and 
inclinations are corrupted by vice, they hear and 
obey other than good advice. So leave arguing 
and listen to what the poet saith: 

Seest not the bazaar with its fruit in rows? 
These men are for figs and for sycamore thosetf 

"And what another saith: 

O beauty's Union! love for thee's my creed; 
free choice of Faith and eke my best desire: 



*"t.e., Not the real thing (with a woman)," says Sir R. Burton, 
in a note. "It may also mean 'by his incitement of me.' All this scene 
is written in the worst form of Persian-Egyptian blackguardism, and 
forms a curious anthropological study." 

t i-e., Some men prefer sodomy (figs=anuj); others natural 
intercourse (syamore=cunwj). 

128 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

Women I have forsworn for thee; so may 
deem me all men this day a shaveling friar. 

"And yet another: 

A boy of twice ten is fit for a King! 

"And yet another: 

The penis smooth and round was made with 
anus best to match it: Had it been made for cun- 
nu's sake it had been formed like hatchet! 

"And yet another said : 

My soul thy sacrifice! I chose thee out who 
art not menstruous or oviparous'. 

Did I with women mell, I sould beget bratf 
till the wide world grew strait for us. 

"And yet another: 

She saith (sore hurt in sense the most acute, 
for she had proffered what did not besuit) : 

'Unless thou stroke as man should swive his 
wife, blame not when horns thy brow shall incor- 
nute! 

'Thy wand seems waxen, to a limpo grown : 
and more I palm it, softer grows the brute!' 

"And yet another: 

Quoth she (for I to lie with her forbore) , f O 
folly-following fool, O fool to core: 

'If thou my coynte for Kiblah* to thy coigne 
reject, we'll show thee what shall please thee 
more' f 

"And yet another: 



* Note by Sir Richard Burton: Kiblah=the fronting place of 
prayer; Mecca for Moslems, Jerusalem for Jews and early Christians. 

fNote by Sir Richard Burton: The Koran says (chap.2) : "Your 
wives are your tillage: go in therefore unto your tillage in what manner 
soever you will." Usually this is understood as meaning in any posture, 
standing or sitting, lying, backwards or forwards. Yet there is a 

129 



TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN. 

She proffered me a tender coynte: Quoth I, 
f l will not roger thee!' 

She drew back, saying, 'From the Faith he 
turns, who's turned by Heaven's decree!* 

'And front-wise {uttering, in one day, is ob- 
solete persistency!' 

Then swung she round and shining rump like 
silvern lump she showed me! 

I cried: 'Well done, O mistress mine! No 
more am I in pain for thee; 

'O thou of all that Allah oped^ showest me 
fairest victory!' 

"And yet another: 

Men craving pardon will uphold their hands; 
women pray pardon with their legs on high\\ 

Out on it for a pious, prayerful work! The 
Lord shall raise it in the dephts to lie."* 



popular saying about the man whom the woman rides (vulg. St. 
George; in France, le postillion} : "Cursed be he who maketh woman 
Heaven and himself earth!" Some hold the Koranic passage to have 
been revealed in confutation of the Jews, who pretended that if a 
man lay with his wife backwards, he would beget a cleverer child. 
Others again understood it of preposterous venery; which is absurd: 
every ancient law-giver framed his code to increase the true wealth 
of the people population and severely punished all processes, like 
onanism, which impeded it. The Persians utilise the hatered of wo- 
men for such misuse when they would force a wife to demand a divorce 
and thus forfeit her claim to dowry; they convert them into catamite? 
till, after a month or so, they lose all patience and leave the house. 
We do not propose to add to Sir Richard's note, reserving our remarks 
on the subject for their proper place in a subsequent volume. 

* Note by Sir Richard: Koran 51, 9, alluding, in the text, to the 
preposterous venry her lover demands. 

fNote by Sir Richard: Arab "Futuh," meaning openings, and 
also victories, benefits. The lover congratulates her on her mortifying; 
self in order to please him. 

rj: Vide note to Excursus to this story, p. 100. 

130 



TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN. 

When Kamar al-Zaman heard her quote this 
poetry, and was certified that there was no escap- 
ing compliance with what willed she, he said: 

"O King of the age, if thou must needs have 
it so, make covenant with me that thou wilt do this 
thing with me but once, though it avail not correct 
thy depraved appetite; and that thou wilt never 
again require this thing of me to the end of time; 
so perchance shall Allah purge me of the sin." 

She replied: 

"I promise thee this same, hoping that Allah 
of His favour will relent toward us and blot out 
our mortal offence; for the girdle of Heaven's for- 
giveness is not indeed so strait, but it may compass 
us around and absolve us of the excess of our hein- 
ous sins and bring us to the light of salvation out 
of the darkness of error; and indeed excellently 
well saith the poet: 

Of evil thing the folk suspect us twain; and 
to this thought their hearts and souls are bent: 

Come, dear! let's justify and free their souls 
that wrong us; one good bout and then repent!" 

Thereupon she made with him an agreement 
and a covenant and swore a solemn oath by Him 
who is Self-existent, that this thing should befall 
betwixt them but once and never again for all time, 
and that the desire of him was driving her to death 
and perdition. So he rose up with her, on this 
condition, and went with her to her own boudoir, 
that she might quench the lowe of her lust, saying: 

"There is no Majesty, and there is no Might 



* Note by Sir Richard: "And the righteous work will be exalt." 
(Koran 35, 11). Applied ironically. 

131 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! This is the 
fated decree of the All-powerful, the All-wise!" 

And he doffed his bag-trousers, shameful and 
abashed, with the tears running from his eyes from 
stress of affright. Thereat she smiled and making 
him mount upon a couch with her, said to him: 

"After this night, thou shalt see naught that 
will offend thee." 

Then she turned to him bussing and bosoming 
him and bending calf over calf, and said to him: 

"Put thy hand between my thighs to the ac- 
customed place; so haply it may stand up to prayer 
after prostration." 

He wept and cried : 

"I am not good at aught of this." 

But she said: 

"By my life, an thou do as I bid thee, it shall 
profit thee!" 

So he put out his hand, with vitals afire for 
confusion, and found her thighs cooler than cream 
and softer than silk. The touching of them pleas- 
ured him and he moved his hand hither and 
thither, till it came to a dome abounding in good 
gifts and movements and shifts, and said in him- 
self: 

"Perhaps this King is an hermaphrodite,* 
neither man nor woman quite." 

So he said to her: 

"O King, I cannot find that thou hast a tool 



* Note by Sir Richard: Easterns still believe in what Westerns 
known to be an impossibility, human beings with the parts and pro- 
portions of both sexes equally developed and capable of reproduction; 

and Al-Islam even provides special rules for them .The old Greeks 

dreamed, after their fashion, a beautiful poetic dream of a human 
animal uniting the contradictory beauties of man and woman. The 

132 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

like the tools of men ; what then moved thee to do 
this deed?" 

Then loudly laughed Queen Budur till she 
fell on her back,* and said: 

"O my dearling, how quickly thou hast forgot- 
ten the nights we have lain together!" 

Then she made herself known to him, and he 
knew her for his wife, the Lady Budur, daughter 
of King al-Ghayur, Lord of the Isles and the Seas. 
So he embraced her and she embraced him, and he 
kissed her and she kissed him; then they lay down 
on the bed of pleasure voluptuous 

Here we end our extract from the Tale of 
Kamar al-TLaman, altough the story runs on for 
another forty odd pages in Sir Richard Burton's 
translation. A situation similar to that just des- 
cribed occurs in another story in 'The Nights/ and 
ive shall have occasion to quote from that in a sub- 
sequent volume. 



duality of the generative organs seems an old Egyptian tradition ; at 
least we find it in Genesis (1.27), where the image of the Deity is 
created male and female, before man was formed out of the dust of 
the ground (2.7). The old tradition found its way to India (if the 
Hindus did not borrow the ideas from the Greeks) ; and one of the 
forms of Mahadeva, the third person of their triad, is entitled "Ard- 
hanari"=the Half-Woman, which has suggested to them some charm- 
ing pictures. Europeans, seeing the left breast conspicuously feminine, 
have indulged in silly surmises about the "Amazons." 

* Note by Sir Richard : This is a mere phrase for our "dying 
of laughter": the queen was on her back. And as Easterns sit on 
carpets, their falling back is very different from the same movement 
off a chair. 



133 



EXCURSUS TO THE TALE OF KAMAR 
AL-ZAMAN. 



"We are told that in the East there was once 
a woman named Moarbeda who was a philosopher 
and considered to be the wisest woman of her 
time. When Moarbeda was once asked: 'In what 
part of a woman's body does her mind reside?' she 
replied: 'Between her thighs.' " Havelock Ellis: 
Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Vol. 3 : The Sex- 
ual Impulse in Women* 

The amativeness of woman, as compared with 
that of man, is a question, of course, entirely be- 
yond the scope of this note. We must be content 
with examining some of the most interesting and 
pertinent extracts from the works of those qual- 
ified to speak on the subject. 

At the outset we are confronted with the 
striking fact that, while the ancients were prone to 
regard woman as generally amative, even lustful, 
modern thought has exactly reversed this opinion. 
"It seems to have been reserved for the nineteenth 
century," says Havelock Ellis, (op. cit. supra), "to 
state that women are apt to be congenitally incap- 



* Havelock Ellis is quoting from The Perfumed Garden of The 
Cheikh Nefzaouis Cosmopoli, 1886, printed for the Kama Shastra So- 
ciety of London and Benares. 

134 



EXCURSUS. 

able of experiencing complete sexual satisfaction, 
and peculiarly liable to sexual anaesthesia. This 
idea appears to have been almost unknown to the 
eighteenth century " 

Thus we have two schools of thought, one 
attributing to woman an intense sexual impulse, 
even greater than in man, the other holding her 
sexually frigid by nature and erotic only by pre- 
tence or accident. We may helpfully quote again 
from our Havelock Ellis, who has summarised in 
masterly fashion? the various authorities on both 
sides: 

"In the treatise On Generation, (chap. 5), 
which until recent times was commonly ascribed 
to Hippocrates/' he says, "it is stated that men 
have greater pleasure in coitus than women, 
though the pleasure of women lasts longer, and 
this opinion, though, not usually accepted, was 
treated with great respect by medical authors down 

to the end of the 17th century Gall had stated 

decisively that the sexual desires of men are 
stronger and more imperious than those of women. 

(Fonctions du Cerveau, 1825), 

Raciborski declared that three-fourths of women 
merely endure the approaches of men. (De la Pu- 
berte chez la Femme). 

" When the question is carefully inquired in- 
to and without prejudice,' said Lawson Tait, 'it is 
found that women have their sexual appetites far 
less developed than men.' (Lawson Tait, Provin- 
cial Medical Journal, 1891). 'The sexual instinct 
is very powerful in man and comparatively weak 
in women,' he stated elsewhere. (Disease of Wo- 
men, 1889). Hammond stated that 'it is doubtful 

135 



EXCURSUS. 

if in one-tenth of the instance of intercourse they 
[women] experience the slightest pleasurable sen- 
sation from first to last.' (Hammond, Sexual 
Impotence). 

"Lombroso and Ferrero consider that sexual 
sensibilityis_. less pronunced in women... Woman 

is naturally and organically frigid ' (Lombroso 

and Ferrero, La Donna Delinquents, la Prostitu- 
ta, e la Donna Normale, 1893). Krafft-Ebing was 
of opinion that women requires less sexual satis- 
faction than men, being less sensual 'The sensual- 
ity of men,' Moll state, 'is in my opinion very 
much greater than that of women.' 

"Adler, who discusses the question at some 
length, decides that the sexual needs of women are 
less than those of men, though in some cases the 
orgasm in quantity and quality greatly exceeds that 
of men. He believes, not only that the sexual im- 
pulse in women is absolutely less than in men, and 
requires stronger stimulation to arouse it, but that 
also it suffers from a latency due to inhibition, 

which acts like a foreign body in the brain and 

demands great skill in the man who is to awaken 
the woman to love." 

Here we have one side of the question a side 
strangely at variance with ancient thought, rom- 
ance and history. The supposed frigidity of wo- 
men is characterised by Havelock Ellis as 'an opin- 
ion of very recent growth confined, on the whole, 

to a few countries.' (Studies, vol. 3, page 196). 
He goes on to quote Brierre de Boismont, who 
wrote: 'Turn to history, and on every page you 
will be able to recognise the predominance of ero- 
tic ideas in women.' It is the same to-day, he adds, 
and he attributes it to the fact that men are more 

136 



TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN. 

easily able to gratify their sexual impulses. (Des 
Hallucinations, 1862). 

"The laws of Manu," continues Havelock 
Ellis, "attibute to women concupiscence and anger, 
the lave of bed and and of adornment. The Jews 
attribute to women greater sexual desire than to 
men. This is illustrated, according to Knobel (as 
quoted by Dillman), by Genesis, chapter 3, verse 
16.* 

"In Greek antiquity, in love between men 

and women the latter were nearly always regarded 
as taking the more active part. In all Greek love- 
stories of early date the woman falls in love with 
the man, and never the reverse, /Eschylus makes 
even a father assume that his daughters will mis- 
behave if left to themselves. Euripides empha 
sised the importance of women. 'The Euripidean 
woman who falls in love thinks first of all: "How 
can I seduce the man I love?" ' (E.F.M. Benecke: 
Antimachus of Colophon and the Position of Wo- 
men in Greek Poetry, 1896). 

"The most famous passage in Latin literature 
as to the question of whether men or women obtain 
greater pleasure from sexual intercourse is that in 
which Ovid relates the legendof Tiresias (Meta- 
morphoses, 3, 317-333). Tiresias, having been both 
a man and a woman, decided in favour of women. 

In a passage quoted from a lost work of Galen 

by the Arabian biographer, Abut-1-Faraj, that 
great physician says of the Christians 'that they 
practice celibacy, that even many of their women 
do so.' So that in Galen's opinion it was more dif- 

* "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow 
and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy 
desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." 

137 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

ficult for a woman than for a man to be continent. 
The same view is widely prevalent among authors, 
and there is an Arabic saying that The longing of 
the woman for the penis is greater than that of the 
man for the vulva.'* 

"The early Christian Fathers clearly show 
that they regard women as more inclined to sexual 

enjoyment than men. That was the opinion of 

Tertullian (De Virginibus Velandis], and it is 
clearly implied in some of St. Jerome's epistles. 

"Notwithstanding the influence of Christian- 
ity, among the vigorous barbarian races of medi- 
aeval Europe the existence of sexual appetite in 
women was not consideredto be, as it later became, 
a matter to be concealed or denied. Thus in 1068 
the ecclesiastical historian, Ordericus Vitalis (him- 
self half Norman and half English), narrates that 
the wives of the Norman knights who had accom- 
panied William the Conqueror to England two 
years earlier sent over to their husbands to say that 
they were consumed by the fierce flames of desire, 
and that if their husbands failed to return very 
shortly they proposed to take other husbands. It is 
added that this threat brought a few husbands back 
to their wanton ladies. 

"During the mediaeval period in Europe, larg- 
ely in consequence, no doubt, of the predominance 
of ascetic ideals set up by men who naturally re- 
garded women as the symbol of sex, the doctrine of 

the incontinence of woman became firmly fixed _ 

Humanism and the spread of the Renaissance 
movement brought in a spirit more sympathetic to 
women. We begin to find attempts at analysing the 

* The Perfumed Garden of the Cheikh Nefaoui: Cosmopoli, 1886. 

138 



EXCURSUS. 

sexual emotions. In the seventeenth century a book 
of this kind was written by Venette. In matters of 
love, Venette declared, 'men are but children com- 
pared to women. In these matters women have a 
more livly imagination, and they usually have 
more leisure to think of love. Women are much 
more lascivious and amorous than men.' In a sub- 
sequent chapter, dealing with the question whether 
men or women receive more pleasure from the 
sexual embrace, Venette concludes, after admitting 
the great difficulty of the question, that man's 
pleasure is greater, but that woman's last longer. 
(N. Venette, De la Generation de I'Homme ou 
Tableau de I' Amour Conjugal, 1688)." 

These and similar quotations, all acknowled- 
ing or laying stress on the erotic appetite of wo- 
men, might be continued indefinitely. Among the 
other supporters of the opinion quoted by Have- 
lock Ellis are Montaigne (Essais), Schurig (Par- 
thenologia), Plazzonus (De Partibus Generations 
Inservientibus), Ferrand (De la Maladie d'A- 
mour) , Uacchia (Quxstiones Medico-Legales], Si- 
nibaldus (Geneanthropeia), Senancour (De VA- 
mour), Busch, Gutteceot,* Mantegazza (Fisiolo- 
gia del Piacere), Forel (The Sexual Question) , 
who believed that women are more erotic than 
men, and Bloch (The Sexual Life of Our Time), 
who says, "The sexual sensibility of women is cer- 
tainly different from that of men, but in strength 
it is at least as great." 

* "In Russia at all events, a girl, as very many have acknow- 
ledged to me, cannot resist the ever-stronger impulses of sex beyond 
the twenty-second or twenty-third year. And if she cannot do so in 
natural ways she adopts artificial ways. The belief that the feminine 
sex (feels the stimulus of sex less than the male is quite false." Guttceit, 
Dreissig Jahre Praxis, 1873. 

139 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

For our part, we find it hard to ignore that 
overwhelming consensus of opinion among early 
writers as to the erotic nature of the average wo- 
man. Was not this feminine amativeness the theme 
upon which were built the undying contes and fab- 
liaux of Boccaccio, Bandello, Masuccio, Strapa- 
rola, La Fontaine, Poggio, Ser Giovanni, Chaucer, 
Brantome and a host of others? Are we to label 
Casanova's Memoirs as worthless because his wo- 
men seem, in our modern eyes, erotic beyond all 
belief ? Turning to the literature of the East, where 
woman's 'thirst for coition is written between her 
eyes,'* are we to hold the feminine attributes there- 
in described as peculiar to those peoples and times? 
Must we believe that all these writers fashioned 
women out of their own lascivious fancy, or that 
the sexual impulse in the women of those races has 
totally changed? 

Without a doubt, time and custom are respon- 
sible for much that seems obscure and irreconcil- 
able. Many of our authorities are writing of an 
age in which men and women spoke and acted in 
a manner which to-day seems coarse and inexcus- 
ably free. Because in the past woman more readily 
gave outward expression to her inward feeling, it 



* The Perfumed Garden. As illustrating our subject, the Cheikh 
Nefzaoui tells a quaint story of a man who, owing to physical dis- 
ability, was unable to satisfy the sexual needs of his wife. A wise 
man gives him a remedy whereby his member grows "long and thick." 
The Cheikh continues: "When his wife saw it in that state she was 
surprised, but it came still better when he made her feel in the matter 
of enjoyment quite another thing than she had been accustomed to 
experience; he began in fact to work her with his tool in quite a 
remarkable manner, to such a point that she rattled and sighed and 
sobbed during the operation. As soon as the wife found in her husband 
such eminently good qualities, she gave him her fortune, and placed 
her person and all she had at his disposal." 

140 



EXCURSUS. 

does not follow now that, by reason of her greater 
reserve, she lacks these emotions. 

History has shown us psychologists and inves- 
tigators in plenty, but they were not the psycholo- 
gists of to-day, recording the results of their inves- 
tigations with meticulous care and detail. The sex- 
ually frigid woman, we can confidently assume, 
was by no means unknown to the ancients. She was, 
however, unusual, abnormal; and if a sexually 
frigid woman be accounted abnormal, it is not 
hard to see why a normal is deemed erotic. 

In these times, when it is the fashion to dissect 
everyone and everything, we are prone to argue 
from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from the 
peculiar to the general; sexual frigidity in woman, 
at first an anomaly, ends in being a trait; the excep- 
tion becomes, does not prove, the rule. 

Needless to say, a great psychologist like 
Havelock Ellis has a wealth of information to offer 
on the subject, and we commend our readers to his 
masterly handling of it. He has something to say 
on every aspect of the question, from the case of 
the woman who is cold almost to the point of sex- 
elessness to that of the erotic wife who 'becomes 
frenzied with excitement during intercourse and 
insensible to everything but the pleasure of it.' In 
conclusion, he adjusts the scales with exquisite and 
scientific precision, holding that 'the distribution 
of the sexual impulse between the two sexes is 
fairly balanced.' 

Earlier on, however, he makes a point which 
we shall do well to bear in mind. * Sexual im- 
pulse is by no means so weak in women as many 
would lead us to think. It would appear that, 
whereas in earlier ages there was generally a tend- 

141 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

ency to credit women with an unduly large share 
of the sexual impulse, there is now a tendency un- 
duly to minimise the sexual impulse in women.' 

We shall have frequent occasion in subsequent 
volumes of Anthologica Rarissima to return to this 
subject, for, as the student of folk-lore, psychology 
and human life will readily agree, sexual impulse 
is perhaps the most powerful basic motive of our 
many daily acts and tasks.* 



* Queen Budur's remark that "Woman pray pardon with their 
legs on high," (p.88 ante), finds an echo in Aristophanes' Lysistrata 
and The EcclesiazusK. In the former play, Athenian woman promise 
Lysistrata that, if forced to intercourse by their husbands, they will 
not lift their legs in the air; in the latter, we have a woman saying: 
"How are we going to lift up our arms in the Assembly (i.e., vote), we, 
who only know how to lift our legs in the act of love?" 

Two of the authorities qnoted by Havelock Ellis on p.97 of the 
foregoing Excursus merit further brief mention. Martin Schurig, author 
oiParthenologia and numerous other medical works, flourished as a 
physician in Dresden between 1688 and 1733. Although many of his 
theories have long since been exploded, his great erudition is much 
to be admired. His books deal with the most amazing questions ; 
among the many curious passages in Parthenologica will be found the 
following: "Chastity put to the proof by a hot iron and boiling water"; 
"Conception without insertion of the penis" ; "Andramytes, Kinf of the 
Lydori, was the inventor of castration of woman, and Semiramis of 
that of men." Dr. Sinibaldus' Geneanthropeia, published in 1642, is a 
very remarkable work on physical love and its aberrations, treating, 
for example, of "The shape of the Phallus" ; "Eunuchism" ^'Aphrod- 
isiacs" ; "Influence of the Stars on Copulation" ; "Effects and manner 
of Copulation"; Pleasure of Copulation as enjoyed by man and wo- 
man." Little is known of Sinibaldus' life beyond that he was a doctor 
at Rome. His Geneanthropeia, according to Pisanus Fraxi, (Index 
Librorum Prohibitorum: London, 1877). has been rendered, in a very 
emasculated form, into English, under the title of Rare Verities. The 
Cabinet of Venus Unlocked: London, 1658. The volume is rare, but a 
copy is to be found in the British Museum. 



142 



THE FOOL.* 



A peasant and his wife had a half-witted son, 
^^who pictured himself married an sleeping with 
his wife. He spoke of this matter to his father. 

"Marry me, little father," he said. 

Said the little father: 

"Wait, my son. You are still too young marry. 
Thy yard hath not yet reached to thy backside. 
When it doth reach there, I will marry thee." 

The son seized his yard with his two hands, 
stretched it with all his strength, and inspected it. 

" 'Tis true," quoth he. "It hath not yet reached 
to my backside. 'Tis still too soon for me to marry. 
My yard is yet small. It reacheth not to my back- 
side. I must wait a year or two." 

Time passed. The youth had naught to do but 
lengthen his yard; and he did it so often and so 
well that not only did his yard reach to his back- 
side, but even passed beyond it. 

"I shall have no shame in sleeping with my 
wife," said he. "I will satisfy her myself. She will 
have no need to resort to strangers." 

"Vain to expect sense on the part of a fool," 

* Kruptadia : Heibronn, Henninger Freres, 1883: vol. 1, Secret 
Stories from the Russian, No. 12. 

143 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

argued the father to himself; and he spake his son, 
saying : 

"Since thy yard is become so great that it pas- 
seth beyond thy backside, there is no need for thee 
to marry. Live single, rest at home, and futter 
thyself." 

Thus the matter ended.* 



* Stories of sexual ignorance, amounting in the case of men 
to veritable imbecility, are numerous in Kruptadia. In Vol. X., Storiet 
of Picardy) we have the tale of a young girl who had been seduced, 
but had married a half-witted youth, whom she was forced to instruct 
in the art of love. When they were in bed together, "she showed him 
how children are made a business entirely unknown to him. After 
the explanations had been given in theory, the husband mounted upon 
his wife, desiring to show that he had learned his lesson well ; but the 
young wife cried out in surprise: "Tis too high! 'Tis too high!' An 
instant later she was forced to say: "Tis too low! 'Tis too low!' 
Several other of his efforts having failed, she told her husband that 
he did but knock at the side of the door. Whereat the latter, aweary of 
'Too high' and 'Too low,' exclaimed: 'Since thou knowest the spot so 
well, put it there thyself!' " 



144 



<OH MOTHER, ROGER WITH HIS 
KISSES."* 



Oh Mother, Roger with his Kisses .../" 

Almost stops my Breath, I vow; .^ 

Why does he gripe my Hand to pieces, 
And yet he says he loves me too? 
Tell me, Mother, pray now do, 
Pray now do, pray now do, 
Tell me, Mother, pray now do, 
Pray now, pray now, pray now do, 
What Roger means when he does so? 
For never stir I long to know. 
Nay more, the naughty Man beside it, 
Something in my Mouth he put; 
I call'd him Beast, and try'd to Bite it, 

But for my Life I cannot do't; ~>, 

Tell me, Mother, pray now do! 
Pray now do, pray now do, 
Pray now do, pray now do, 
Tell me, Mother, pray now do, 
Pray now, pray now, pray now do, 
What Roger means when he does so? 
For never stir I long to know. 
He sets me in his Lap whole Hours, 

Where I feel I know not what; 
Something I never felt in yours, 

Pray tell me Mother what is that? 
Tell me Mother what is that? 
For never stir I long to know. 

J. S. Farmer: Merry Songs and Ballads: Privately Printed, 
1897: Words and Music in Pills to Purge Melancholy, (1707), 1, 214. 



145 



FOOLISH FEAR.* 



Of a young man of Rouen, married to a fair 
youg girl of the age fifteen or thereabouts; and 
how the mother of the girl wished to have the mar- 
riage annuled by the Judge of Rouen, and of the 
sentence which the said Judge pronounced when 
he had heard the parties as you will hear more 
plainly in the course of the said story. 



TN the good town of Rouen, not long ago, a young 
man was married to a fair and tender virgin, 
aged fifteen, or thereabouts. On the day of the 
great feast that is to say, the wedding the moth- 
er of the young girl, as is customary in such places, 
instructed the bride in all the mysteries of wedlock, 
and taught her how to behave to her husband on 
the first night. 

The young girl, who was looking forward to 
the time when she could put these doctrines into 
practice, took great pains and trouble to remember 
the lesson given her by her good mother, and it 
seemed to her that when the time came for her to 
put these counsels into execution, that she would 
perform her duties so well that her husband would 

* Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles: R. B. Douglas' translation: 
Paris, Charles Carrington. C.f. note ante. 

146 



FOOLISH FEAR. 

praise her, and be well pleased with her. 

The wedding was performed with all honour 
and due solemnity, and the desired night came; 
and soon after the feast was ended, and the young 
people had withdrawn after having taken leave of 
the newly married couple, the mother, cousins, 
neighbours, and other lady friends led the bride to 
the chamber where she was to spend the night with 
her husband, where they joyfully divested her of 
her raiment, and put her to bed, as was right and 
proper. Then they wished her good-night, and one 
said: 

"My dear, may God give thee joy and pleas- 
ure in thy husband, and mayst thou so live with 
him as to be for the salvation of both your souls." 

Another said: 

"My dear, God give thee such peace and 
happiness with thy husband, that the heavens may 
be filled with your works." 

And all, having expressed similar wishes, left. 
The bride's mother, who remained the last, ques- 
tioned her daughter if perchance she had remem- 
bered the lesson she had been taught. And the girl, 
who, as the proverb goes, did not carry her tongue 
in her pocket, replied that she well remembered 
all that had been told her, and thank God had 
forgotten nothing. 

"Well done," said the mother. "Now I will 
leave thee, recommending thee to God and_pray- 
ing that He may give thee good luck. Farewell, 
my good and wise mother." 

And soon as the schoolmistress* had finished, 



* Obviously a play on words, with reference to the lessons in 
marital duty given by the mother to the daughter. 

147 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

the husband, who was outside the door expecting 
something better came in. The mother closed the 
door, and told him that she hoped he would be 
gentle with her daughter. He promised that he 
would, and as soon as he had bolted the door, he 
who had nothing on but his doublet threw it 
off, jumped on the bed, drew as close as he might 
to his bribe, and, lance in hand, prepared to give 
battle. 

But when he approached the barrier where 
the skirmish was to take place, the girl laid hold of 
his lance, which was as straight and stiff as a cow- 
keeper's horn, and when she felt how hard and big 
it was, she was sore affrighted, and fell to crying 
aloud, saying that her shield was not of a strength 
to receive and bear the blows of so huge a weapon. 

All his efforts nothwithstanding, the husband 
could not persuade her to joust with him, and this 
bickering endured throughout the night, without 
his being able to do aught, which much displeased 
our bridegroom. Nevertheless, he abode patient, 
hoping to make up for the time lost on the follow- 
ing night; but 'twas the same as on the first night, 
even so on the third, and so up to the fifteenth, 
matters remaining just as I have related. 

And when fifteen days had passed since the 
young couple were wed, they still not having come 
together, the mother came to visit her pupil, and 
after a thousand questions, spoke to the girl of her 
husband, demanding what sort of a man he was 
and whether he did his duty well. And the girl 
answered that he was very well as a man, and was 
a quiet and a peaceable. 

"But," said the mother, "doth he do what he 
ought to do?" 

148 



FOOLISH FEAR. 

"Yea," quoth the girl, "but...." 

"But what?" said the mother. "Thou art keep- 
ing something back, I am assured. Tell me forth- 
with and conceal naught; for I must know now. 
Is he a man capable of performing his marital du- 
ties in the way I taught thee?" 

The poor girl, being thus pressed, was oblig- 
ed to own that he had not yet done the business, but 
she did not say that she was the cause of the delay, 
and that she had always refused the combat. 

When her mother heard this sad news, God 
knows what a disturbance she made, swearing by 
all her gods that she would soon find a remedy for 
that, for she was well acquainted with the Judge of 
Rouen, who was her friend, and would favour her 
cause. 

"The marriage must be annulled," said she, 
"and I have no doubt but that I shall find a way, 
and thou mayst be sure, my child, that before two 
days are past thou wilt be divorced and married 
to another man, who will not let thee rest in peace 
all that time. Dost leave the business to me." 

The good woman, half beside herself, went 
and related her wrong to her husband, the father 
of the girl, and told him that they had lost their 
daughter, and adducing many reasons why the mar" 
riage should be annulled. 

She pleaded her cause so well that her hus- 
band took her side, and was content that the bride- 
groom (who knew no reason why a complaint 
should be lodged against him) should be cited be- 
fore the Judge. But, at any rate, he was personally 
summoned to appear before the Judge, at his wife s 
demand, to show cause why he should not leave her, 
and permit her to marry again, or explain the 

149 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

reason why, in so many days that he had lived with 
her, he had not demonstrated that he was a man, 
and performed the duties that a husband should. 

When the day came, the parties presented 
themselves at the proper time and place, and they 
were called upon to state their case. The mother 
of the bride began to plead her daughter's cause, 
and God knoweth the laws concerning marriage 
which she quoted, none of which, she maintained, 
had her son-in-law fulfilled ; therefore she demand- 
that he should be divorced from her daughter 
forthwith without more ado. 

The young man was much astonished to find 
himself thus attacked, but lost no time in replying 
to the allegations of his adversary, quietly stating 
his case, and relating in what wise his wife had al- 
ways refused him leave to perform his marital 
duties. 

The mother, when she heard this reply, was 
more wroth than ever, and could scarce bring her- 
self to believe it; and she asked her daughter if 
that was true which her husband had said. 

"Yea, truly, mother," replied the girl. 

"Oh, wretched child," said her mother. 
"Wherefore didst thou refuse? Did I not teach 
thee thy lesson many times?" 

The poor girl might not answer, so shamed 
was she. 

"At any rate," said the mother, "I must know 
the reason why thou hast refused. Tell it me forth- 
with, lest I grow exceeding wroth." 

The girl was forced to confess that she had 
not dared to present her shield lest he killed her; 
and so she still felt, nor was she reassured on that 
point, albeit her mother had bade her be without 

150 



FOOLISH FEAR. 

fear. Whereat the mother addressed the Judge, 
saying: 

"Monseigneur, thou hast heard the confession 
of my daughter, and the defence of my son-in-law. 
I beg of thee give judgement forthwith." 

The Judge gave orders for a bed to be pre- 
pared in his house, the couple to lie on it together; 
and he commanded the bride boldly to lay hold of 
the tilting staff,* and put it where it was ordered 
to go. When this judgement was delivered, the 
mother said: 

"I thank thee, my lord ; thou hast judged well. 
Come, my child, do what thou sliouldst, and take 
heed to obey the Judge, and put the lance where it 
should be put." 

"I am satisfied," answered the daughter, "to 
put it where it ought to go, but it may rot there ere 
I take it out again." 



* Mr. Douglas translates simply: "stick or instrument" The 

word in the text, bourdon, signifies literally "a pilgrim's staff." It is 
followed by the word joustouer, "to tilt or joust," or "a tiller, a jouster," 
which Mr. Douglas ignores. The combination, however, seems to keep 
more faithfully to the spirit of the story. On the other hand, bourdon 
is a recognised erotic term for penis. Farmer, (Slang and its Analogues: 
vol. 5, p. 290), quotes Rabelais as employing the word in this sens<?. 
Landes, (Glossaire Pratique de la langue franqaise: Brussels, 1861), 
includes it in a list which comprises 212 slang terms for the male 
organ of generation. Le petit Citateur: Notes erotiques et porno- 
graphiques: Paris, 1881: only 300 printed, a curious and valuable 
little work dealing with the lesser known expressions and metaphors 
of venry, and intended to serve as a complement to the ordinary erotic 
dictionary, describes bourdon as "the virile member, the grand chord 
which gives the note in the amorous duet." The Memoirs of Miss 

Fanny are quoted: " enraptured, split open by the enormous size of 

my ravisher's bourdon, my thighs all bloodstained, I remained for some 
time overwhelmed by fatigue and pleasure " The French text re- 
ferred to in the foregoing not is that of Garnir Freres, Paris, n.d. 



151 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

So they quitted the court, and went and car- 
ried out the sentence themselves, without the aid 
of any sergeants. By this means the young man 
enjoyed his joust, and was sooner weary of it than 
she who would not begin.* 



* This story, the 86th of Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, is sing- 
ularly lacking in climax when compared with the majority of old 
fabliaux. The opening is very promising; but once the husband has 
stated his case, the fabric seems to fall to pieces, and the wife's final 
speech is as silly as it it unjustified. The author has tried to round off 
the story by dragging in the ages-old tag about the woman who, from 
hating the pleasures of love, becomes a veritable glutton for them. 
Compared with "Beyond the Mark," which is artistic and dramatic 
from the first to the last line, "Foolish Fear" is a poor thing. Never- 
the less, we have thought fit to include it in this anthology because its 
opening is a* characteristic as its finish is uncharacteristic of this, 
type of fabliaux. 



152 



THE PRINCESS WHO PISSETH OVER 
THE HAYCOCKS.* 



A peasant died and left three sons. On their re- 
turn home from the interment of their father, 
the three young men took counsel together. The 
dead man had not been wealthy, and he bequeathed 
to his sons only his house and a small piece of land. 
After much discussion, it was decided that the 
eldest should leave the house and land to his breth- 
ren, and go forth into the world to seek his fortune. 
If he succeeded, he would return forthwith to his 
brethren that they might share his good fortune, 
but if he did not return within a year and a day, the 
second brother should set out in search of him. 
This agreed, the eldest embraced his brethren and 
set forth. 

Sallying from the village, he discovered two 
roads. In perplexity, he tossed a coin in the air, 
and as it fell, so he made his choice. He journeyed 
long without encountering aught but inns and 
farms, where he spent the night, renewing his quest 
on the morrow. At length, after travelling fifteen 
days, he came to a magnificent castle. 



* Kruptadia : Henningcr Freres, Heilbronn, 1883: Stories of 
Picardy 

153 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

" 'Tis here perchance I shall find fortune," 
quoth he. "I will enter the castle and seek service 
within." 

But all the offices were filled. Going forth, he 
encountered the owner of the castle who was king 
of the countryside, and at his request the youth jre- 
lated his purpose in coming to this domain. 

Quoth the king: 

"Employment I have none to offer thee in my 
palace; but I have a better proposal to make. I 
have a daughter of the like not seen elsewhere on 
earth. She pisseth over the most lofty houses. All 
the physicians I have summoned cannot cure her, 
and it is a sad pity, for she is of surpassing beauty. 
If thou canst prevent her from pissing over the 
haycocks which thou shalt erect, thy fortune is 
made. I will give her to thee in marriage. If thou 
failest, thou shalt go join in their prison those im- 
beciles of physicians and charlatans who have al- 
ready sought to succeed in this my proposal. Thou 
dost understand? See then if thou believest thyself 
capable of this achievement." 

The youth, having taken counsel with himself 
for several moments, accepted the king's proposal. 
This latter, leading him within the palace, set him 
to dine with his wife and daughter. The Princess 
was a marvel of beauty, and the peasant could not 
satiate his eyes of her perfections. He was appor- 
tioned a chamber in the castle, what time he await- 
ed the dav of his trial. 

On the morrow the young adventurer chose 
a vast field, and thither caused to be borne five or 
six hundred loads of hay. Next he took a hundred 
peasants and set them to erect an enormous hay- 

154 



THE PRINCESS 

cock. If the Princess doth succeed in pissing o'er 
this heap of hay," he thought, "I am mad." And 
he went to tell the king the haycock was ready. 

On the morrow came the Princess; and she 
fell to laughing when she saw the haycock. She 
raised her robe and pissed high o'er the heap of 
hay. The youth was thunderstruck. On the order 
of the king, they seized the youth and cast him into 
a dungeon with the physicians who had essayed the 
venture before him. 

A year and a day after the departure of his 
eldest brother, the second peasant set forth in his 
turn, taking the road followed by his brother one 
year before. Journeying fifteen days, he, too, came 
upon the castle, and, entering therein, demanded 
the work of a servant. Him also the king saw, put- 
ting the proposal he had made to his elder brother. 
Which proposal the youth accepted. 

Well received by the family of the Princess, 
he pictured himself already the son-in-law of the 
king, and built project upon project for the future. 
He chose a vast plain, and thither caused to be 
borne six thousand loads of hay. Next he took one 
thousand labourers and set them to erect the 
haycock. 

On the morrow the Princess approached the 
haycock, gave vent to a great shriek of laughter, 
raised her robe, and pissed high o'er the haycock. 

And the second brother went to join his elder 
in the dungeon of the king's palace. 

The youngest peasant was sore pained in that 
his brethren returned not. 

"Assuredly they have suffered some mis- 
chance in their travels," quoth he to himself. 
" 'Twere ill of me did I not set forth in search of 

155 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

them, and render them aid in their misfortune." 
He, in his turn, quitted the village. Chance 
took him by the same road as that taken by his 
brethren, and he came to the palace of the king 
who held them prisoner. He entered the palace, 
saw the king, and accepted the proposal made to 
him. At table he found the Princess adorable, and 
the Princess found him charming. This he per- 
ceived, and resolved never to quit her side. All 
night he dreamed of the Princess, nor did he wake 
till the sun was up. Then he fell to leisurely 
reflection. 

"All the same," said he to himself, "if I suc- 
ceed in taking the maidenhead of the Princess be- 
fore the trial, perchance she will not piss so high. 
I am convinced that all dependeth on her virgin- 
ity. I will attempt this method." 

When day came, he arose and went to walk in 
the castle park. The Princess had not slept the 
whole night long, ever seeing the countenance of 
the young man. At daybreak she arose and went to 
walk in the park, where she encountered the young 
peasant. 

And this last did not let slip the occasion; he 
approached the young girl and avowed that he 
died of love for her. The Princess was easy of per- 
suasion, and one hour afterward she had lost her 
maidenhead. Then she re-entered the palace, the 
youth walking till hour of the morning meal, when 
he, too, entered the palace if naught had happened. 

At noontide he caused to be borne into a cor- 
ner of the park a single load of hay; then told the 
king that he was ready for the trial. 

And when the king, accompanied by his 
daughter, approached the tiny haycock which had 

156 



THE PRINCESS 

been erected by the young man, he cried out that 
the trial was not serious, and he counselled the 
peasant to construct a much loftier haycock. But 
the peasant affirmed that the heap of hay was suf- 
ficient, whereat the king ordered his daughter to 
piss. 

Who was the most astonished? Truly the king 
and the Princess, when the latter only succeeded in 
watering her stockings, for the charming channel, 
wherein the young man had laboured with the girl, 
from being narrow, had grown great. 

Judge, though she did not let the youth per- 
ceive it, was likewise satisfied. And the king gave 
his daughter to the young man,their nuptials were 
celebrated, the young peasants became princes, 
and all lived happily ever afterward. 



157 



THE COMB.* 



An old man bought a sheep's cloak for his 
wife, and he futtered her the whole night long at 
the foot of the fence. In the morning the weather 
was damp, and the old woman, with back bent, 
went weeping; but the old man followed and 
mounted her. Said the woman to her husband: 
"Tear me not in this fashion, Gabriel!" 
But the man was hard of hearing, knew not 
what she said, thrust his yard into her, and futter- 
ed her dog-fashion The eye is ne'er too weary to 

see, nor the backside to fizzle, nor the nose to take 
snuff, nor the coynte to lose the chance of goodly 
f utter But this way of a prelude a foreword. 



there lived a pope, who possessed a 
daughter, a virgin and an artless. And when 
summer came the pope was wont to hire workmen 
to mow the hay; and he hired them in this wise: 

If his daughter pissed o'er the haycock which 
the workman had mown, the man went wageless. 

* Kruptadia : Heilbronn, Henninger Frercs, 1883, vol. 1: Secret 
Stories from tlu Russian. 

t A priest of the Greek Church. 

158 



THE COMB. 

Workmen a-plenty hired themselves to the pope, 
but, one and all, they laboured wageless; the 
daughter, whatsoe'er the height of the haycock, 
pissed o'er it. 

Yet another workman and a bold did accept 
the conditions; if the pope's daughter pissed o'er 
the haycock which he had mown, no claim for his 
work he make. Then mowed the workman his 
hay; when he had mown it and set it in a heap, he 
lay down beside the haycock, drew forth his yard 
from his drawers and fell to toying with it. The 
pope's daughter drew nigh to the workman to 
scrutinise the haycock, cast a glance at him, and 
said: 

"What dost thou, little peasant?" 

"I rub my comb." 

"What dost comb with this comb of thine?" 

"Come I will comb thee. Lie down on the 
hay." 

The pope's daughter lay down on the hay, the 
workman fell to combing her, and he winnowed 
her as was proper. Anon the young girl rose up 
and said: 

"What a delicious comb!" 

Afterwards she sought to piss o'er the hay- 
cock; of no avail; she did piss upon herself, as it 
might run from a sieve. Seeking out her father, 
she spake him, saying: 

"The haycock is too high; I may not piss o'er 
it." 

"Ah! my daughter! here in sooth is a goodly 
workman. I will hire him for a year." 

And when the workman came to receive his 
wage, the pope said: 

"Friend, hire thyself to me for a year." 

159 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

"I am willing," quoth the workman; and he 
hired himself to the pope. Most contented, too, 
was the pope's daughter, and when night came she 
sought the workman, saying: 

"Comb me!" 

"Nay, I will not comb thee for nought. Give 
me one hundred roubles. Buy the comb." 

The pope's daughter gave him one hundred 
roubles, and nightly he combed her. 

Came a time when the workman fell out with 
the pope, saying: 

"Render me my wage, little father." 

His wage rendered, the workman went his 
way. Now the pope's daughter was not present 
when these things were done, but when she return- 
ed to the house she inquire,d: 

"Where is the workman?" 

He demanded his wage and is gone forhtwith 
to the village," quoth the pope. 

"Ah! little father! what hast thou done? He 
hath carried off my comb!" cried the pope's 
daughter. 

She hastened in pursuit, and came upon him 
by a little stream; the workman had tucked up his 
drawers and was fording the stream. 

"Give me my comb!" cried the pope's 
daughter. 

The workman took a stone and cast into the 
water. 

"Pick it up," said he; and, passing to the other 
side of the stream, went his way. 

The pope's daughter tucked up her petticoat, 
entered the water, and sought the comb. She rum- 
maged at the bottom of the stream. No comb. 

Chanced to pass a lord, who cried to her: 

160 



THE COMB. 

"What seekest, little dove?" 

"My comb! Ihave purchased it from a work- 
man for one hundred roubles; departing, he car- 
ried it off with him. Him I pursued, and he cast 
the comb in the water." 

The lord descended from his carriage, re- 
moved his breeches, and entered the water in 
search of the comb. They searched; together they 
searched. On a sudden the pope's daughter per- 
ceived that a yard hung 'twixt the lord's legs. She 
seixed it with both hands, gripped it fast, and 
cried : 

"Shame on thee, lord! 'Tis my comb! Give 
it me!" 

"What dost thou, shameless one? Leave hold 
of me!" said the lord. 

"Nay, 'tis thou who art shameless! Thou 
wouldst take what pertains to another. Give me 
my comb!" 

And she dragged him by his yard to her 
father. 

The pope gazed through the window. Be- 
hold, his daughter dragged a lord by his yard and 
never ceased from crying: "Give me my comb, 
wretched fellow!" what time the lord made plaint- 
ive sound, saying: "Little father, deliver me from 
a death not deserved! All my life I will not for- 
get thee!" 

From his drawers the pope drew forth his 
yard, displayed it to his daughter through the win- 
dow, and cried: 

"My daughter! my daughter! Here is thy 
comb!" 

"Truly 'tis mine!" cried the daughter. "Be- 

161 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

hold its red end! And I thought the lord had 
taken it!" 

And she released this unfortunate and sped 
into the house. The lord drew on his hose and took 
to his heels. 

The girl came running into the house. 

"Where is my comb, little father?" 

"Ah! what a daughter!" grumbled the pope. 
"See, little mother. I believe she hath lost her 
maidenhead." 

"Examine her thyself, little father," said the 
popess. "That will be better." 

The pope lowered his drawers and gave the 
comb to his daughter. When they were in action, 
the pope gasped and cried: 

"No, no the girl hath not lost her honour " 

Quoth the popess: 

"Little father, push her honour yet further 
back." 

"Fear not, little mother. She will not let it 
fall. I have pushed it far." 

Thus went the pope's daughter to the comb. 
Henceforth the pope combed them both, regaling 
them with his little 'doll,'* passing his life in fut- 
tering both daughter and mother. 



* French Poupee, which, in the slang phraseology of that lang- 
uage, properly denotes a harlot. On the other hand, we have the 
term dolly as a synonym for penis. (C.f. Farmer: Slang and its An- 
alogues.) This use of poup^e, which, of course, is literally translated" 
bydoll, is peculiar; our French lexicographers do not include it ia 
their lists of synonyms for the membrum virile. 



162 



EXCURSUS TO THE PRINCESS WHO 
PISSETH OVER THE HYCOCK AND THE 

COMB. 



The main theme of these two stories the 
ability of a virgin girl to urinate to a great height 
is founded on physiological fact, although, of 
course, grossly distorted and exaggerated. "In 
children," says Havelock Ellis, (Studies in the 
Psychology of Sex, vol. 5: Erotic Symbolism}, 
"the vulva appears to look directly forward and 
the clitoris and urinary meatus easily appear, 
while in adult women, and especially after at- 
tempts at coitus have been made, the vulva appears 
directed more below and behind, and the clitoris 
and meatus more covered by the labia majora; so 
that the child urinates forward, while the adult 
woman is usually able to urinate almost directly 
downwards in the erected position, though in some 
cases (as may occasionally be observed in the 
street) she can only do so when bending slightly 
forwards. 

"This difference in the direction of the stream 
formerly furnished one of the methods of diagnos- 
ing virginity, an uncertain one, since the difference 
is largely due to age and individual variation. The 
main factor in the position and aspect of the vulva 
is pelvic inclination......" 

Havelock Ellis, later on in the same volume 
of his Studies, again refers to the subject: 

163 



EXCURSUS. 

"A sign to which the old authors often attach- 
ed much importance was furnished by the urinary 
stream. In the De Secretis Mulierum, wrongly at- 
tributed to Albertus Magnus,* it is laid down that 
'the virgin urinates higher than the woman.' Rio- 
Ian, in his Anthropographia, discussing the ability 
of virgins to ejaculate urine to a height, states that 
Scaliger had observed women who were virgins 
emit urine in a high jet against a wall, but that 
married women could seldom do this. Bonaciolus 
also stated that the urine of virgins is emitted in a 
small stream to a distance with an acute hissing 

sound. (Parthenologia, p. 281. )t There is no 

doubt a tendency for the various stresses of sexual 
life to produce an influence in this direction, 
though they act far too slowly and uncertainly to 
be a reliable index to the presence or the absence 
of virginity. 

"Another common ancient test of virginity by 
urination rests on a psychic basis, and appears in 
a variety of forms which are really all reducible to 
the same principle. Thus we are told in De Secre- 
tis Mulierum that to ascertain if a girl has been 



* "Already in the thirteenth century, Albert Bollstoedt, Bishop 
of Ratisbonne, better known as Albertus Magnus, had, in spite of his 
clerical profession, furnished much scabrous matter concerning the 
opposite sex in his work De Secretis Mulierum." Centuria Librorum 
Absconditorum: Pisanus Fraxi (Ashbee) : London: Privately Printed, 
1897. The compiler of this monumental work and the two companion 
volumes, Index Librorum Prohibitorum and Catena Librorum Tacen- 
dorum, would seem to be at variance with Havelock Ellis. A further 
reference to Albertus Magnus by Fraxi is worth giving: "Shall a 
bishop, raised to the See of Ratisbonne, (exclaims the erudite James 
Atkinson) and (still more monstrous) shall a canonised man, an 'in 
coelum sublevatus,' undertake a natural history of the most natural 
secret, inter secretalia ifceminea? Is the natural and divine law at 
once to be expounded, inter Scyllam et Charybdim, of defailance and 
human orgasm?" Medical Bibliography, p. 72. 

fWe have already referred to Schurig's work. 

164 



EXCURSUS. 

seduced she should be given to eat of powdered, 
crocus flowers, and if she has been seduced she im- 
mediately urinates. We are here concerned with 
auto-suggstion, and it may well be believed that 
with nervous and credulous girls this test often re- 
vealed the truth 

" The ancient custom, known in classic 

times, of measuring the neck the day after mar- 
riage was frequently practised to ascertain if a girl 
was or was not a virgin. There were various ways 
of doing this. One was to measure with a thread 
the circumference of the bride's neck before she 
went to bed on the bridal night. If in the morning 
the same thread would not go around her neck it 
was a sure sign that she had lost her virginity dur- 
ing the night; if it would, she was still a virgin or 
had been deflowered at an earlier period. Catullus 
alluded to this custom,* which still exists, or exist- 
ed until lately,! in the south of France. It is per- 
fectly sound, for it rests on the intimate response 
by congestion of the thyroid gland to sexual exite- 
ment. (Parthenologia, p. 283.)" 



* "Nor shall the nurse at orient light returning, with yester-e'en's 
thread succeed in circling her neck." The Carmina of Catulluss 
Englished into verse and prose by Sir R. F. Burton and L. C. Srnithers: 
London, 1894. Burton and Srnithers, apparently, were unaware of 
the medical significance of the test, for they add in a note: "The 
ancients, says Pezay, had faith in another equally absurd test of 
virginity. They measured the circumference of the neck with a thread. 
Then the girl under trail took the two ends of the magic thread in 
her teeth, and if it was found to be so long that its bight could be 
passed over her head, it was clear she was not a maid. By this 
rule all the thin girls might pass for vestals, and all the plump ones 
for the reverse." 



t Havelock Ellis is writting in 1914. 

165 



THE SKIRMISH.* 
Tullia. 



CJWEET it is to me, dearest cousin, that thy 
*^ marriage with Cavicea is finally concluded: 
for, the night which will make thee a wife in his 
embraces will, I assure thee, afford thee by far the 
greatest of all pleasures; provided Venus befriend 
thee, as this thy heavenly shape deserveth. 

Ottavia. 

My mother told me this morning that I am 
to be wedded to-morrow to Caviceo. And I see 
that the requisites for the pomp of this event are 
being prepared at home with great care: the bed, 
bed-room, and so forth. But, of course, these things 
cause less joy than fear in my soul; for, whatever 
in fine may be that pleasure of which thou, my 
dearest cousin, speakest, I neither know nor even 
imagine. 

Tullia. 

It should seem nowise strange that thou at 
this age and so soft (for thou hast barely attained 



* The Dialogues of Luisa Sigea: Translated from the Latin of 
Nicolas Chorier: Paris: Isidore Liseux, 1890. Our extract is from the 
opening lines of the first dialogue; the phraseology, at times, is our own. 

166 



THE SKIRMISH. 

thy fifteenth year) , dost not know what I, though 
older when I married, wholly ignored ; that de- 
light which Pomponia used to promise and so 
loudly extol, having been tasting it herself since 
three years. 

Ottavia. 

But what greatly surpriseth me is that thou 
shouldst wholly ignore it. Allow me to speak more 
openly now that I am on the eve of complete free- 
dom. For if the practice were lacking, which thou 
certainly hadst not, yet thy great learning must 
have disclosed these secrets to thee. I often hear 
thee extolled to the clouds in the most flattering 
terms, because thou art so skilled in Latin and 
Greek literature as in nearly all the liberal arts 
that there seemth to be naught which thou dost not 
know. 

Tullia. 

My father had so much to do in this, that, 
with the same zeal as most other girls are seeking 
after the reputation or being handsome and ele- 
gant, I was entirely bent on acquiring the honour 
of being a learned maid. And they that prefer to 
flatter than speak the truth, say: she hath not quite 
lost her time. 

Ottavia. 

They who will not flatter say also: scarcely 
have esteem of virtue, good morals remained with 
those of our sex who were considered learned, even 
when they obtained this honour. 

Tullia. 

Would they deny I am chaste, while owning 
I am learned? 

167 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

Ottavia. 

Ay, they would ; but thou hast won the admi- 
ration of all while taking care that thy learning 
did not interfere with thy good and chaste moralsj 
it hath produced an extraordinary prodigy. But 
how could it be possible that the Muses, who are 
styled virgins, should be deemed hostile to the hon- 
our of virgins? Why are they said to corrupt our 
minds, they who are as the ardour of our souls, 
stimulating us all, men and women alike, to grand 
and praiseworthy actions? Undoubtedly because 
men, from a certain haughty and silly malignity, 
envy us these resources of which they themselves 
are proud, by making us the victims of their jeal- 
ousy. Men shun every poison and venom just as 
we do, whom they call the weaker sex, because the 
same pest which may take our lives away, may take 
theirs away too. If learning be a venom and a pest 
for us, as they assert, how is it that so dangerous a 
thing, in order to be useful to men, (for they do 
not deny but that it is useful to them) , should 
change its nature all on a sudden? If learning is, 
of its very essence, a certain source of every evil 
and crime for us, how shall they drink out of the 
same source the nectaren waters of immortal 
glory: whilst we unhappy and wretched women 
shall drink a sort of sulphureous Stygian water 
which will excite us to those debaucheries, to 
which they drive us by their sway or lead us by 
their example? For, I remember that thou spokest 
thus on this subject a few days ago in thy conversa- 
tion with Caviceo. It is exceedingly nice of thee 
to have conserved until now that beauty which in- 
flameth even the coldest, with that learning which 
doth captivate those insensible of beauty. 

168 



THE SKIRMISH. 

Tullia. 

Thou who speakest thus, thou who knowest 
that love inflameth men's hearts, art not so simple 
as I thought. 

Ottavia. 

Am I totally ignorant of what Caviceo's eyes, 
brow, in a word, his whole countenance so often 
told me, even though he were silent? I was indeed 
truly surprised at the unwonted fire of his kisses, 
when he made free with me eight days ago; I 
know but too well what that ardour and fire 
meant. 

Tullia. 

Thy mother was absent? thou wast alone? 
thou wast not at all afraid of him? 

Ottavia. 

My mother was gone out; but what was to be 
feared from him? Of course I feared naught. 

Tullia. 

All he asked was kisses? 
Ottavia. 

On the contrary, the fool took them against 
my will, brandishing his glowing tongue between 
my lips. 

Tullia. 
What sensation came over thee, then? 

Ottavia. 
I shall acknowledge it: some heat or other 

169 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

hitherto unfelt passed through my veins; my whole 
frame was inflamed. He thought that a maiden 
blush bepainted my cheek; for a little while he 

forebore his folly and busy hand 1 shall ever 

hate those roguish hands, from the very fact that 
they with their fire impregnated me, tortured and 
wearied I 

Tullia. 
A nice affair! 

Ottavia. 

Why? having stuck his hand in my breast, he 
seized one of my paps, then the other; and while 
he was handling each of them rather hard, lo! he 
tossed me over on my back in spite of me. 

Tullia. 

Thou art blushing; the deed was accom- 
plished. 

Ottavia. 

His left hand was laid on my bosom (I am 
stating how the thing was done), he easily over- 
came all my efforts: he next slipped his right hand 
under my petticoat. I blush, I blush to tell it. 

Tullia. 

Lay aside that ridiculous modesty; fancy thou 
art relating to thyself what thou art telling me. 

Ottavia. 

Having speedily lifted my petticoat above my 
knees, he handled my thighs. Oh! hadst thou be- 
held his sparkling eyes! 

170 



THE SKIRMISH. 

Tullia. 

So thou wast happy then! 
Ottavia. 

Having carried his hand higher, he invaded 
that place which, they say, distinguisheth us from 
the other sex; ay, it is now a year ago, and ever 
since a lot of blood doth run from me every month 
during several days. 

Tullia. 

Bravo, Caviceo! ah! ah! ah! 
Ottavia. 

Oh, the rascal! "This part," he saith, "will 
soon rejoice me exceedingly. Do consent, my Ot- 
tavia." A little more and I had fainted at these 
words. 

Tullia. 

What did he then do? 

Ottavia. 

That part of me, thou wouldst scarcely be- 
lieve, hath a very small slit 

Tullia. 

But inflamed, but glowing. 
Ottavia. 

He thrust his finger into it, and, as the place 
could barely contain it, I felt a sharp pain 
throughout all my senses. But he: "I have a vir- 
gin," said he, and no sooner said than forcibly my 
thighs which I kept as tight as ever I could, he 
threw himself upon me. 

171 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

Tullia. 

Thou art silent? he put naught but his finger 
in? 

Ottavia. 

I felt. but what effrontery is mine to speak 

so much about it! 

Tullia. 

And I too, whom thou makest so much of, 
have undergone it, as thou. Naught is more daring 
than a bridegroom, whom every delay doth exas- 
perate exceedingly, until he gathereth that flower 
of his bride. 

Ottavia. 

I soon felt some hard and warm mass between 
my thighs. He forced me to open; with a robust 
effort he directed that thing against my body and 
that slit. But I, having mustered up strength, 
threw myself to the other side, and slipping my 
left hand between us both, I laid it on that place 
where the fray was so furiously raging. 

Tullia. 

Thou couldst with one hand ward off so 
powerful a catapult? 

Ottavia. 

Yea. "O naughty man," would I say, "why 
dost thou annoy me thus? Let me go, if thou lovest 
me: by what crime have I deserved this torture?" 
And tears flowed from my eyes: but such was the 
state of my mind, that I did not even dare open my 
mouth or utter a cry to call for help. 

172 



THE SKIRMISH. 

Tullia. 

Withal Caviceo did not even pierce thee with 
his lance*? it did not enter into thy trench*? 

Ottavia. 

I seized it and held it aside, but unlucky 
event! I felt myself completely drenched with a 
shower like fire, and, naked as I was, wet up to the 
navel. I put my hand to it again; but when falling 
on that sort of slimy fluid with which the mad fel- 
low had flooded me, my hand recoiled from fright 
and horror. 

Tullia. 

Therefore neither was he vanquished nor 
thou victorious, since he was very near carrying 
off a real victory. 

Ottavia. 

Caviceo was far more agreable to me since 
that day. Nor do I know the powerful desire that 
doth agitate my soul. I ignore what I long for, and 
cannot mention it. All I know is that Caviceo 
pleaseth me far more than all mortals; I expect 
from him alone the supreme pleasure which I do 
not understand, as I ignore what it may be like. I 
desire naught and yet desire 

Here we end our extract from Luisa's Dialo- 
gues. We shall have occasion to quote from them 
again in subsequent volumes of Anthologia Raris~ 
sima. 



* Erotic terms in English, French and Latin slang, respectively, 
for the penis and female pudendum. (C.f. Farmer, op. cit.). 



173 



EXCURSUS TO THE SKIRMISH. 



Nicolas Chorier, the author of the Dialogues 
of Luisa Sigea (the book is commonly called the 
Aloisia or the Meursius, after the name of the sup- 
posed author or translator) was born at Vienne, 
Dauphiny, in 1612; he received a law-doctor's de- 
gree in 1639, and practised the profession of law- 
yer at the Court of Aids in his native town.* A man 
of cultivated mind, a passionate lover of letters, a 
first-rate Latinist, he devoted only a very limited 
part of his time to causes of the bar. 

While passing out of the Jesuit Academy, and 
during the course of his law studies, he tried his 
hand at a variety of works both in French and La- 
tin The composition of the Aloisia, or at least 

the first draft, for he must often have retouched 
this chief work, may be traced back to that time. 
"I wrote then," he tells us in his Memoirs, "Epis- 
tles,, Speeches, a Political Dissertation on the 
French alliance with the Ottoman Empire, and 
two Satires, the one Menippean, the other Sota- 



* We are quoting from the English translator's "Notice of Nicolas 
Chorier" in the Liseux edition already mentioned. 

t The Sotadical Satire is so-called after Sotades, who lived 
three centuries before Christ, and whose erotic poems are unfortunately 
lost English Translator's note. According to a note in Priapeia 
(Cosmopoli, 1890, Privately Printed), Sotades, the Mantinean poet, was 
the first to treat of Greek love, or dishonest and unnatural love. He 

174 



EXCURSUS. 

dical."f It was about the year 1660 that he had, 

according to all probability, the first edition of the 
Aloisia secretly printed in Lyons. The work was 
supposed to have been written in Spanish, in the 
16th century, by an erudite young girl, Luisa Si- 
gea, whose father, Jacques Sigee, a native of Fran- 
ce, had quitted his country to settle down at Tole- 
do. (Luisa Sigea, who was born at Toledo about 
the year 1530 and died in 1560, says the English 
translator in a note, knew Latin, Greek, Hebrew, 
Syriac and Arabic. She was styled the Minerva 
of her time.) The Spanish work was lost; but 
there remained a Latin manuscript translation of 
it, which Chorier, in order to secure himself, at- 
tributed to the learned Dutchman Joannes Meur- 

sius, dead twenty years before Chorier died in 

1692; he left several manuscript works behind 
him, some of which have since been printed. 



wrote in the Ionian dialect, and according to Suidas he was the 
author of a poem entitled Cinxdica (Martial, 2. 86). The title would 
leave us in no doubt as to the trend of the work. (Cinaedus : =he who 
indulges in unnatural lust ; Cinaedicus=pertaining to one who is un- 
chaste. Smith's Latin English Dictionary.) C.f. also Sir Richard 
Burton's "Sotadic Zone" in the Terminal Essay to The Thousand Nights 
and a Night (op. cit. sup. ). 



175 



THE NIGHTINGALE.* 



lived in Romagna a gentleman of great 
worth and good breeding, called Messer Li- 
zio da Valbona, to whom, well-nigh in his old age, 
it chanced there was born of his wife, Madame 
Giacomina by name, a daughter, who grew up fair 
and agreeable beyond any other of the country; 
and for that she was the only child that remained 
to her father and mother, they loved and tended 
her exceeding dear and guarded her with marvel- 
lous diligence, looking to make some great al- 
liance by her. 

Now there was a young man of the Manardi 
of Brettinoro, comely and lusty of his person, by 
name Ricciardo, who much frequented Messer Li- 
zio's house and conversed amain with him and of 
whom the latter and his lady took no more account 
than they would have taken of a son of theirs. 
Now, this Ricciardo, looking once and again upon 
the young lady and seeing her very fair and 
sprightly and commendable of manners and fash- 
ions, fell desperately in love with her, but was 
very careful to keep his love secret. 

* The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio: Englished by John 
Payne: Villon Society, 1886. This is the fourth story of the fifth day, 
the actual title being: "Ricciardo Manardi, being found by Messer 
Lizio da Valbona ivith his daughter, espouseth her and abideth with 
her father in peace." 

176 



THE NIGHTINGALE. 

The damsel presently became aware thereof 
and without anywise seeking to shun the stroke, be- 
gan on like wise to love him ; whe.reat Ricciardo 
was mightily rejoiced. He had many a time a mind 
to speak to her, but kept silence for misdoubtance; 
however, one day taking courage and opportunity, 
he said to her: 

"I prithee, Caterina, cause me not to die of 
love." 

To which she straightway made answer: 
"Would God thou wouldst not cause me die!" 

This answer added much courage and plea- 
sure to Ricciardo and he said to her: 

"Never shall aught that may be agreeable to 
thee miscarry for me; but it resteth with thee to 
find a means of saving thy life and mine." 

"Ricciardo," answered she, "thou seest how 
straitly I am guarded; wherefore, for my part, I 
cannot see how thou mayst avail to come at me; 
but, if thou canst see aught that I may do without 
shame to myself, tell it me and I will do it." 

Ricciardo, having bethought himself of sun- 
dry things, answered promptly: 

"My sweet Caterina, I can see no way, except 
that thou lie or make shift to come upon the gal- 
lery that adjoineth thy father's garden, where an 
I knew that thou wouldst be anights, I would with^ 
out fail contrive to come to thee, how high soever 
it may be." 

"If thou have the heart to come thither," re- 
joined Caterina, "methinketh I can well enough 
win to be there." 

Ricciardo assented and they kissed each other 
once only in haste and went their ways. 

Next day, it being then near the end of May, 

177 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

the girl "began to complain before her mother that 
she had not been able to sleep that night for the ex- 
cessive heat. Quoth the lady : 

"Of what heat dost thou speak, daughter? 
Nay, it was nowise hot." 

"Mother mine," answered Caterina, "you 
should say 'to my seeming' and belike you would 
say sooth; but you should consider how much hot- 
ter are young girls than ladies in years." 

"Daughter mine," rejoined the lady, "that is 
true; but I cannot make it cold and hot at my plea- 
sure, as belike thou wouldst have me do. We must 
put up with the weather, such as the seasons make 
it; maybe this next night will be cooler and thou 
wilt sleep better." 

"God grant it may be so!" cried Caterina. 
"But it is not usual for the nights to go cooling, as 
it groweth towards summer." 

"Then what wouldst thou have done?" asked 
the mother; and she answered: 

"An it please my father and you, I would fain 
have a little bed made in the gallery, that is beside 
his chamber and over his garden, and there sleep. 
There I should hear the nightingale sing and hav- 
ing a cooler place to lie in, I should fare much bet- 
ter than in your chamber." 

Quoth the mother: "Daughter, comfort thy- 
self ; I will tell thy father, and as he will, so will 
we do." 

Messer Lizio, hearing all this from his wife, 
said; for that he was an old man and maybe there- 
fore somewhat cross-grained : 

"What nightingale is this to whose song she 
would sleep? I will yet make her sleep to the chirp 
of the crickets." 

178 



THE NIGHTINGALE. 

Caterina, coming to know this, more of des- 
pite than for the heat, not only slept not that night, 
but suffered not her mother to sleep, still complain- 
ing of the great heat. Accordingly, next morning, 
the latter repaired to her husband and said to him: 

"Sir, you have little tenderness for yonder 
girl; what mattereth it to you if she lie in the gal- 
lery? She could get no rest all night for the heat. 
Besides, can you wonder at her having a mind to 
hear the nightingale sing, seeing she is but a cKild? 
Young folk are curious of things like themselves." 

Messer Lizio, hearing this, said: 

"Go to, make her a bed there, such as you 
think fit, and bind it about with some curtain or 
other, and there let her lie and hear the nightin- 
gale sing to her heart's content." 

The girl, learning this, straightway let make 
a bed in the gallery and meaning to lie there that 
same night, watched till she saw Ricciardo and 
made him a signal appointed between them, by 
which he understood what was to be done. 

Messer Lizia, hearing the girl gone to bed, 
locked a door that led from his chamber into the 
gallery, and betook himself likewise to sleep. 

As for Ricciardo, as soon as he heard quiet on 
every hand, he mounted a wall, with the aid of a 
ladder, and thence, laying hold of certain tooth- 
ings of another wall, he made his way, with great 
toil and danger, if he had fallen, up to the gallery, 
where he was quietly received by the girl with the 
utmost joy. Then, after many kisses, they went to 
bed together and took delight and pleasure one of 
another well nigh all that night, making the night- 
ingale sing many a time. 

The nights being short and the delight great 

179 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

and it being now, though ihey thought it not, near 
day, they fell asleep without any covering, so over- 
heated were they what with the weather and what 
with their sport, Caterina having her right arm 
entwined about Ricciardo's neck and holding him 
with the left hand by that thing which you ladies 
think most shame to name among men. 

As they slept on this wise, without awaking, 
the day came on and Messer Lizio arose and re- 
membering him that his daughter lay in the gal- 
lery, opened the door softly, saying in himself: 

"Let us see how the nigtingale hath made Ca- 
terina sleep this night/' 

Then, going in, he softly lifted up the serge 
wherein the bed was curtained about, and saw his 
daughter and Ricciardo lying asleep, naked and 
uncovered, embraced as it hath before set out; 
whereupon, having recognised Ricciardo, he went 
out again and reparing to his wife's chamber, call- 
ed to her, saying: 

"Quick, wife, get thee up and come sec, for 
that thy daughter hath been so curious of the 
nightingale that she hath e'en taken it and hath it 
in hand." 

"How can that be?" quoth she; and he 
answered : 

"Thou shalt see it, an thou come quicklv." 
Accordingly, i-he made haste to dress herself 
and quietly followed her husband to the bed 
where, the curtain being drawn, Madam Giaco- 
mma might plainly see how her daughter had 
taken and held the nightingale, which she had so 
longed to hear sing; whereat the lady, holding her- 
self sore deceived of Ricciardo, would have cried 

180 



THE NIGHTINGALE. 

out and railed at him; but Messer Lizio said to 
her: 

"Wife, as thou boldest my love dear, look 
thou say not a word, for, verily, since she hath got- 
ten it, it shall be hers. Ricciardo is young and rich 
and gently born; he cannot make us other than a 
good son-in-law. An he would part from thee on 
good terms, needs must he first marry her, so it will 
be found that he hath put the nightingale in his 
own cage and not in that of another." 

The lady was comforted to see that her hus- 
sband was not angered at the matter and consider- 
ing that her daughter had passed a good night and 
rested well and had caught the nightingale, to 
boot, she held her tongue. Nor had they abidden 
long after these words when Ricciardo awoke and 
seeing that it was broad day, gave himself over for 
lost and called Caterina, saying: 

"Alack, my soul, how shall we do, for the day 
is come and hath caught me here?" 

Whereupon Messer Lizio came forward and 
lifting the curtain, answered: 

"We shall do well." 

When Ricciardo saw him, himseemed the 
heart was torn out of his body and sitting up in 
bed, he said: 

"My lord, I crave your pardon for God's 
sake. I acknowledge to have deserved death, as a 
disloyal and wicked man; wherefore do you with 
me as best pleaseth you; but, I prithee, an it may 
be, have mercy on my life and let me not die." 

"Ricciardo," answered Messer Lizio, "the 
love that I bore thee and the faith I had in thee 
merited not this return; yet, since thus it is and 
youth hath carried thee away into such a fault, do 

181 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

thou, to save thyself from death and me from 
shame, take Caterina to thy lawful wife, so that, 
like as this night she hath been thine, she may e'en 
be thine so long as she shall live. On this wise thou 
mayst gain my pardon and thine own safety; but, 
an thou choose not to do this, commend thy soul 
to God." 

Whilst these words were saying, Caterina let 
go the nightingale and covering herself, fell to 
weeping sore and beseeching her father to pardon 
Ricciardo, whilst on the other hand she entreated 
her lover to do as Messer Lizio wished, so they 
might long pass such nights in security. 

But there needed not overmany prayers, for 
that, on the one hand, shame of the fault commit- 
ted and desire to make amends for it, and on the 
other, the fear of death and the wish to escape, 
to say nothing of his ardent love and longing to 
possess the thing beloved, made Ricciardo freely 
and without hesitation avouch himself ready to do 
that which pleased Messer Lizio ; whereupon the 
latter borrowed of Giacomina one of her rings and 
there, without budging, Ricciardo in their pres- 
ence took Caterina to his wife. This done, Messer 
Lizio and his lady departed, saying: 

"Now rest yourself, for belike you have more 
need thereof than of rising." 

They being gone, the young folk clipped each 
other anew and not having run more than half a 
dozen courses overnight, they ran other twain ere 
they arose and so made an end of the first day's 
tilting. 

Then they arose and Ricciardo having had 
more orderly conference with Lizio a few days 
after, as it beseemed, he married the damsel over 

182 



THE NIGHTINGALE. 

again, in the presence of their friends and kinsfolk, 
and brought her with great pomp to his own house. 
There he held goodly and honourable nuptials and 
after went long nightingale-fowling with her to 
his heart's content, in peace and solace, both by 
night and by day. 



183 



THE PIKE'S HEAD.* 



there lived a peasant and his wife who had 

a daughter, a young virgin. The girl went 
forth to harrow the garden; she harrowed and she 
harrowed; anon they called her to the house to eat 
pancakes. She ran and left the horse with the har- 
row, saying unto the beast: 

"Wait there until I return." 

There was in the house of a neighbour a son, 
a foolish lad. For long he had desired to futter the 
maid ; but by what means he could not conceive. 
Obeserving the horse with the harrow, he slipped 
through the hedge, unharnessed the horse, and led 
it into his garden. Leaving the harrow in its place, 
he passed the beam through the hedge, and har- 
nessed the horse afresh from his side. 

The young girl returned and stood astonished. 
What meant this? The harrow on one side of the 
hedge, the horse on the other? She fell to beating 
the horse with her whip, saying: 

"Devil! How earnest thou there? Thou didst 
know how to get there. Thou wilt know how to re- 
turn. Come! Out of it!" 

The lad stood near; he looked and laughed. 



. *^ruptadia\ Heilbronn: Henninger Fibres, 1883: vol 1.: Secret 
btones from the Russian. 

184 



THE PIKE'S HEAD. 

"I will aid thee an thou wilt," said he, "but 
only if thou dost permit me " 

The maid was cunning. 

'Willingly," said she. 

And she armed herself with the head of an 
old pike, which lay about the garden, its jaws 
open. Piking it up, she thrust it in her sleeve and 
said to the lad : 

"I do not wish to come to thy side of the 
hedge, nor do I wish thee to come to mine, lest any 
see thee. Do it through the hedge. Pass me thy 
yard and I will put it in." 

The youth drew out his yard and passed it 
through the hedge. The girl took the pike's head, 
opened it, and put it 'twixt her thighs. When the 
youth rubbed, he scratched his yard so that it bled. 
Taking it in his hands, he ran to the house, sat 
down in a corner, and was very silent. 

"Ah! woe is mine!" thought he to himself. 
"How her coynte biteth! If only my yard will 
heal, for the rest of my life I will never address 
another girl!" 

Came the time for the youth to settle down; 
he was affianced to the daughter of the neighbour, 
and they were wedded. They dwelt together for a 
day, then two, then three; they dwelt together for 
a week, then a second, then a third; but the youth 
feared to touch his wife. 

Constrained one day to go to the house of the 
young man's mother-in-law, they set out on their 
way. On the road the wife said to her husband: 

"Listen, now, my dear little Danilka. Why 
hast thou married since thou dost naught with me? 
If thou canst do naught, why spoilest the life of 
another in this useless fashion?" 

185 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

And Danilka replied : 

"Nay, thou wilt not trap me again. It biteth, 
thy coynte. My yard hath long been ill. Tis scarce 
cured yet." 

"Thou ravest!" answered she. "At that time 
I did but play with thee. Have not fear now. Make 
trial of this dear little thing* of mine. Thou wilt 
be enchanted with it." 

And desire took the youth, and he tucked up 
his robe, saying: 

"Wait I am about to bind thy legs, and if 
thy coynte bitheth, I shall be able to leap to earth 
and save myself." 

He let go of the reins and bound the two nak- 
ed thighs of his young wife. His instrument was 
now of sufficient magnitude. When he rammed the 
girl, she cried with a loud voice; the horse, which 
was young, took fright and began to run away; the 
sleigh was thrown from side to side; the peasant 
fell out; and his young wife, her thighs naked, was 
dragged into the courtyard of the mother-in-law. 

The mother-in-law gazed through the win- 
dow; she perceived the horse of her son-in-law, 



*The texxt says: ce cher petit, which may be interpreted as re- 
ferring to the wife's pudenhum. C.f. Le petit je ne sais quoi ("My- 
little-what's-its-name"), a comon erotic term for the parts concerned. 
(Farmer: Slang and its Analogues; Landes: Glossaire Erotique; and 
Le petit Citateur: Notes Erotique et Pornographiques.} The last 
authority considers that the word trou (hole) would be understood in 
the text. Trou, of course, is a common French erotic term for the fem- 
inine pudendum. On the other hand, he word jeu (game) may be 
understood, which would be equally applicable. C.f. Farmers (Slang, 
etc, vol. 3, p. 110) : "The first game ever played." i.e., copulation. 
Also Landes (Gloss. Erot.) : "Game: employed in an obscene sense to 
denote the sexual act." 



186 



THE PIKE'S HEAD. 

and was assured that he brought her some viands 
for the feast; she went to meet him and found 
her daughter! 

"Ah! little mother!" cried the latter. "Un- 
bind me swiftly ere any see me." 

The old woman unbound her and asked what 
it signified. 

"And thy husband, where is he? she de- 
manded. 

"The horse threw him into the road." 

These two entered the house and gazed 
through the window. Danilka arrived, approach- 
ed some small boys who were playing at knuckle- 
bones, stopped, and looked about him. The moth- 
er-in-law dispatched her eldest daughter to him. 
She drew near, saying: 

"Good day, Danilka Ivanitch." 

"Good-day." 

"Come into the house. The feast lacketh but 
thee." 

"Is my wife within?" 

"Yea." 

"And hath the blood ceased to flow?" 

But the young girl spat and ran away from 
him. 

Then the mother-in-law dispatched her 
daughter-in-law, who would appease him. 

"Come, come, little Danilka. The blood hath 
ceased to flow this long time." 

She led him within the house, and the moth- 
er-in-law came to meet him, saying: 

"Welcome, my dear little son-in-law." 

"Varvara is she within?" 

"Yea." 

"And hath the blood ceased to flow?" 

187 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

"It hath ceased this long time." 

Then he drew forth his yard and showed it to 
his mother-in-law, saying: 

"See, little mother, this awl* was entirely in- 
side her body." 

"Come, come," said the mother-in-law. "Sit 
thyself down. 'Tis time to eat." 

They sat down, drank, and ate. 



* Alene is the word in the text. Not an erotic term for penis 
in French and English slang, though we have the verb "to bore." C.f. 
Farmer -.Slang and its Analogues, for his amazing list of synonyms 
denoting the sexual act under the heading "Ride." Blondeau, in his 
Dictionnaire Erotique (Isidore Liseux: Paris, 1885), gives no word in 
his collection of Latin terms for penis which approximates exactly to 
the sense of awl. Landes, Delvau (Dictionnaire Erotique), and Le 
petit Citateur (op. cit. supra) make no mention of the word. In our 
story Danilka, in his very primitive fashion, has used an expression 
which explains in the simplest way his actions in the sleigh. 



188 



THE LOVELY NUN AND HER YOUNG 
BOARDER.* 



Casanova again meets the beautiful nun M. 
M , with whom he was on intimate terms some 
years previously at Venice. The nun is now in a 
convent at Chamberi, where Casanova visits her 
and her young boarder, a lovely girl aged twelve 
or thirteen, who readily succumbs to the adventur~ 
er's amorous advances. The text continues: 



T went to the convent, and M M came down 
* alone to the grating. She thanked me for com- 
ing to see her, adding that I had come to disturb 
her peace of mind. 

"I am all ready, my heart, to climb the gar- 
den wallj' I answered, "and I shall do it more dex- 
trously than thy wretched humpback." 

"Alas! 'tis not possible, for, believe me, thou 

art already spied upon Let us forget all, my dear 

friend, that we may be spared the torment of vain 
desires." 

"Give me thy hand." 



* Memoirs of Jacques Casanovas Privately Printed, 1894. Also 
Memoires de J. Casanova de Seingalts Gamier Freres: Paris, n.d. Our 
text is a blend of two versions. 

189 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

"Nay. All is over. I love thee still; probably 
I shall love thee always ; but I long for thee to go, 
and by so doing, thou Wilt give me proof of thy 
love." 

"This is dreadful; thou amazest me. Thou 
dost seem in perfect health; thou art grown even 
more beautiful; art made for the worship of the 
sweetest of gods; 'tis beyond my powers of compre- 
hension how, with a temperament like thine, thou 
canst live in continual abstinence." 

"Alas! lacking the reality we console ourselves 
with make-belief.* I will not conceal from thee 
that I love my young boarder. 'Tis an innocent 
passion, and keepeth my mind calm. Her caresses 
quench the flame which would otherwise kill 
me."f 

"And doth not thy conscience suffer?" 
"I feel no distress in the matter." 
"But thou dost know 'tis a sin?" 
"I confess it." 

"And what sayeth the confessor?" 
"Naught. He absolveth me, and I am happy." 
"And doth thy pretty boarder confess also?" 
"Assuredly; but she telleth not the father of 
a matter which she doth not to believe a sin." 

"I wonder that the confessor hath not taught 
her, for that species of instruction is a great plea- 



sure." 



"Our confessor is a wise old man." 

"I shall leave thee, then, without a single 

kiss?" 

* Badinage in the French text ; i.e., playfulness, frolic, sport, etc., 
which is hardly in keeping with the context. 

t Literally, according to French text: "Her caresses quench a 
fire which would kill me did I not weaken its force by this make- 
belief." 

190 



THE LOVELY NUN. 

"Not one." 

"May I return on the morrow? I go hence on 
the following day." 

"Come; but I shall not descend alone,* for 
others might have suspicious. I will bring my little 
one with me, to save appearances. Come after din- 
ing, but to the other parlour." 

Had I not known M M at Aix, her re- 
ligious ideas would have astonished me; but such 
was her character. She loved God, and did not be- 
lieve that the kind Father who made us with pas- 
sions would be too severe because we had not the 
strength to subdue them. I returned to the inn, an- 
noyed that the lovely nun would have no more to 
do with me 

After the interval of a night, Casanova re- 
turns to the convent, and, announcing his presence, 
enters the parlour ivhichM M has indicated. 
The text continues: 

She soon descended with her pretty young 

boarder, who had not yet completed her twelfth 

year, but was very tall, strong and well-developed 
for her age. Gentleness, liveliness, candour, and 
wit were united in her features, and gave her an 
expression of exquisite charm. She wore a well- 
made corset which disclosed a white throat, to 
which fancy easily added the two spheres which 
would soon appear there. Her shapely head, 
whence hung two superb raven tresses, and her 
ivory throat indicated what might be concealed, 
and my vagrant imagination formed her into a 
budding Venus. 

I began by telling her that she was very pretty, 

* i.e., to the grating. 

191 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

and that she would make happy the husband for 
whom God had destined her. This compliment, I 
felt assured, would cause her to blush. Tis cruel, 
but thus it is that the language of seduction ever 
beginneth. A girl of her years who doth not blush 
at the mention of marriage is either a fool or 
already expert in profligacy. Despite this, how- 
ever, the blush which mounteth to a young girl's 
cheek at the onset of a startling idea is indeed a 
problem. Whence doth it come? Perchance from 
pure simplicity; perchance from shame; often 
from a mixture of both feelings. Cometh, then, the 
combat 'twixt vice and virtue, and usually 'tis vir- 
tue which hath to succumb. The desires true ser- 
vants of vice easily attain their ends. As I knew 
the young boarder from M M 's description, I 
could not be unaware of the source of those blushes 
which did but enhance her youthful charms. 

Pretending not to notice aught, I conversed 
for a while with M M , then returned to the 
assault. She had regained her calm. 

"What is thine age, pretty one?" said I. 

"I am thirteen." 

"Thou art wrong, my heart," said her friend. 
"Thou hast not yet completed thy twelfth year." 

"The time will come," quoth I, "when thou 
wilt diminish the tale of thy years instead of in- 
creasing it." 

"I shall never tell a lie, sir; of that I am sure." 

"So thou wouldst become a nun, mv fair 
friend?" 

"I have not yet that vocation ; but naught shall 
force me to lie, even though I should live in the 
world." 



192 



THE LOVELY NUN. 

"Thou art wrong, for thou wilt begin to lie 
from the moment ihou hast a lover." 

"Will my lover also tell lies?" 

"Assuredly he will." 

"Were the matter truly so, I should entertain 
a bad opinion of love; but I do not believe it, for 
I love my dear friend here, and I never conceal 
the truth from her." 

"But thou dost not love a man as thou lovest 



a woman." 



"Indeed one doth." 

"Not so, for thou dost not go to bed with a 
woman, but thou wilt with thy husband." 

"No matter my love would be the same." 

"What? Thou wouldst not rather sleep with 
me than with M M ?" 

"Nay ,in sooth, for thou art a man and would 
see me." 

"Thou dost not desire a man to see thee, 
then?" 

"Nay." 

"Thou knowest that thou art ugly, then?" 

At this she turned to her friend with a highly 
vexed air. 

"Am I truly ugly?" she asked. 

"Nay, my heart," said M M , bursting 
with laughter; 'tis quite the other way. Thou art 
very pretty." With these words, she took her on 
her knee and embraced her tenderly. 

"Thy corset is too tight, mademoiselle; 'tis not 
possible to have so small a waist as thine." 

"Monsieur is mistaken. Thou canst put thy 
hand there and see for thyself." 

"I do not believe it." 

M M then held her close to the grille and 

193 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

bade me assure myself on the point. At the same 
moment she turned up her dress. 

'Thou wast right," said I, "and I owe thee an 
apology." But in my heart I cursed the chemise 
and the grille. 

" Tis my opinion," quoth I to M M , 
"that here we have a little lad." 

Without awaiting a reply, I laboured so well 
that I satisfied myself, by touch, as to her sex, and 
I could see that the little one and her governess 
were pleased that my mind was at rest on the 
subject. 

When I had withdrawn my hand, the little 
one gave a kiss to M M , whose smiling air re- 
assured her, and begged leave to absent herself for 
a moment. It seems I had reduced her to a state 
in which a brief space of solitude was necessary, 
and I myself_was in a highly excited condition. 

When she had gone,I said to M M : 

"Dost realise that what thou hast shown me 
hath made me unhappy?" 

"And why?" 

"Because thy boarder is charming and I am 
dying to possess her." 

"I grieve for that, since thou canst not go 
further; moreover, I know thee, my friend, and 
e'en though thou couldst satisfy thy passion with- 
out danger to her, I would not yield her to thee; 
thou wouldst spoil her." 

"How?" 

"Dost think that after enjoing thee she would 
care to enjoy me? I should lose too heavily by 
comparison." 

"Give me thy hand." 

"Nay." 

194 



THE LOVELY NUN. 

"Stay one moment." 

"I do not wish to see aught." 

"Not even a little?" 

"Naught at all." 

"Art angered with me, then?" 

"Far from it. If thou hast been pleased, I am 
glad; and if thou hast filled her with desires, she 
will love me all the more." 

"What happiness, my angel, could we, all 
three, be alone together and at liberty!" 

"I feel it, but 'tis impossible." 

"Art sure that we are sheltered from all cu- 
rious eyes?" 

"I am certain." 

"The height of that wretched grille hath de- 
prived me of the sight of many charms." 

"Why didst not go to the other parlour? 'Tis 
much lower there." 

"Let us go there." 

"Not to-day. I could give no reason for the 
change." 

"I will return to-morrow, and in the evening 
I start for Lyons." 

The little boarder came back, and I stood up 
facing her. I had a number of beautiful seals and 
trinkets hanging from my watch-chain, and I had 
not had time to put myself in a state of perfect de- 
cency again. This she noticed, and my seals serv- 
ing as a pretext for her curiosity, she asked if she 
might look at them. 

"As long as you like, my jewel; look at them 
and touch them as well." 

M M , foreseeing what would happen, 
left the room, saying that she would return anon. 
I hastened to deprive the curious-minded young 

195 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

Doarder of all interest in my seals by placing in her 
hands a curiosity of another kind. She did not con- 
ceal her transports nor the pleasure she felt in sa- 
tisfying her inquisitiveness about an object which 
was quite new to her, and which she was able to 
examine minutely for the first time in her life. But 
soon an effusion of the natural moisture changed 
her in her delighted contemplation of it. 

Perceiving M M returning slowly, I 
lowered my shirt and sat down. My watch and 
chains were still on the ledge of the grating, and 
M M asked her young friend if the trinkets 
had pleased her. 

"Yea," replied the little one, in a dreamy and 
melancholy voice. She had travelled so far in less 
than two hours that she had plenty to think on. 

I passed the rest of the day in relating to M 
M the adventures I had encountered since I 
quitted her; but as I had not time to finish my tale, 
I promised to return on the following day at the 
same hour. 

The young girl, who had been listening to me 
all the while, although I seemed to be addressing 
only her friend, said she was dying to know the 
end of my adventure with the mistress of the Duke 
of Matelone.* 

On the following day, after dining, I re- 
turned to the convent, and having sent up my name 
to M M , I entered the room where the grat- 
ing was more convenient. Before long M M 
arrived alone, but divining my desires, she added 
that her pretty young friend would soon join us. 

*Referring to a salacious incident shortly before related. Further 
details would be out of place in this volume. 

196 



THE LOVELY NUN. 

"Thou hast fired her imagination," she said. 
"She hath told me all about it, playing a thousand 
wanton tricks and calling me her dear husband. 
Thou hast seduced her, and I am very glad thou 
art going, for I believe she might lose her reason. 
Thou wilt see how she hath attired herself." 

"Art sure of her discretion?" 

"Perfectly, but I beg of thee to do naught in 
my presence. When I see the moment approach- 
ing, I will leave the room." 

"Thou art an angel, beloved, but thou might- 
est be something better an thou wouldst " 

"I want naught for myself, because that may 
not be." 

"Thou couldst " 

"Nay I will have naught to do with a pas- 
time which would re-kindle fires hardly yet 
quenched. I have spoken. I suffer; but let us say 
no more on the matter." 

At this moment the young adept entered 
smiling, her eyes full of fire. She was attired in a 
short pelisse, open in front, and an embroidered 
muslin skirt which did not go beyond her knees. 
She looked like a sylph. 

We were scarcely seated ere she reminded me 
of the place where my tale had stopped. I con- 
tinued my recital, and when I was relating how 
Donna Lucrezia showed me Leonilda naked, M 
M went out, and the sly little puss asked me how 
I assured myself that my daughter was a virgin. 

Taking hold of her through the wretched 
grating, against which she placed her pretty body, 
I showed her how I assured myself of the fact, and 
the little one found such pleasure in the game 

197 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

that, so far from feeling any suffering, she twice 
swooned away in ecstasy, all the while pressing my 
hand to the spot. Then she gave me her hand that 
she might afford me the pleasure I had given her, 
and when M M appeared during this enjoy- 
able occupation, she said hastily: 

"It doth not matter. I have told everything. 
My friend is kind, and she will not be vexed." 

M M , in sooth, affected to see naught of 
all this, and the precocious young girl wiped her 
hand in a kind of voluptuous delight, which show- 
ed how well she was pleased. 

I proceeded with my history, but when I came 
to the episode of the poor girl who was tied,* des- 
scribing all the trouble I had vainly taken with 
her, the little boarder grew so curious that she 
placed herself in the most seducing attitude so that 
I might be able to show her what I did. Seeing 
this, M M made her escape. 

"Kneel down on the ledge," said the little 
wanton, "and let me do it." 

The reader can guess her intention, and she 
would have succeeded in her purpose had not the 
fire which consumed me distilled itself away at the 
orifice. 

The charming novice felt herself besprinkled, 
but after ascertaining that naught more could be 
done, she withdrew in some vexation. My fingers, 
however, consoled her for the disappointment, and 
I had the pleasure of seeing her look happy once 
more. 

* Somewhat obscure. This rendering, that of the English trans- 
lation, is not in accord with the French text, nor does it seem to 
us to represent what happened as described in the English translation. 



198 



THE LOVELY NUN. 

I quitted these charming creatures in the eve- 
ning, promising to visit them again in a year, but 
as I walked home I could not but reflect how often 
these asylums, supposed to be devoted to chastity 
and prayer, do contain in themselves the hidden 
germs of corruption. How many a timorous and 
trustful mother is persuaded that the child of hey 
affection will escape the dangers of the world by 
taking refuge in the cloister. But behind these 
bolts and bars desires grow to a frenzied extreme; 
they crave in vain to be satisfied 



199 



JOHN AND JOAN. 



There was a Maid the other Day, 
Which in her Master's Chamber lay; 
As Maidens they must not refuse, 
In Yeomens Houses thus they use 
In a Truckle-bed to lye, 
Or another standing by: 
Her Master and her Dame, 
Said she shou'd do the same. 

This Maid cou'd neither rest nor Sleep, 
When that she heard the Bed to crack; 

Her Master Captive busie was, 

Her Dame cry'd out, you hurt my Back 

Oh Husband you do me wrong, 

You've lain so hard my Breast upon; 

You are such another Man, 

You'd have me do more than I can: 

Tush Master, then says Joan, 

Pray let my Dame alone; 

What a devilish Squalling you keep, 

That I can neither rest nor Sleep. 



* ].S. Farmer -.Merry Songs and Ballads: Privately Printed, 1897: 
vol.3: from Pills to Purge Melancholy (1719). A similar ballad. John 
and Jone, from Merry Drollerie (1661) is given by Farmer in the 
second volume of his work. 

200 



JOHN AND JOAN. 

This was enough to make a Maiden sick 

And full of Pain; 
She begins to Fling and Kick, 

And swore she'd rent her Smock in twain 
But you shall hear anon, 
There was a Man his name was John, 
To whom this Maid she went alone, 
And in this manner made her moan; 
I prithee John tell me no Lie, 
What ails my Dame to Squeak and Cry? 
I prithee John tell me the same, 
What is't my Master gives my Dame? 



It is a Steel, quoth John, 

My Master gives my Dame at Night: 
Altho' some fault she find, 

I'm sure it is her Heart's Delight: 
And you Joan for your part, 
You love one withal your Heart: 
Yes, marry then quoth John, 
Therefore to you I make my moan; 
If that I may be so bold, 
Where are these things to be sold? 
At London then said John, 
Next Market day I'll bring thee one. 



What will a good one cost, 

If I shou'd chance to stand in need? 
Twenty Shillings, says John, 

And for Twenty Shillings you may speed 
Then Joan she ran unto her Chest, 
And fetch'd him Twenty Shillings just; 
John, said she, here is your Coin, 

201 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

And I pray you have me in your Mind: 
And out of my Love therefore, 
There is for you two Shillings more; 
And I pray thee honest John Long, 
Buy me one that's Stiff and Strong. 



To Market then he went, 

When he had the Money in his Purse; 
He domineer' d and vapour'd, 

He was as stout as any Horse: 
Some he spent in Ale and Beer, 
And some he spent upon good Cheer; 
The rest he brought home again, 
To serve his turn another time: 
Welcome home honest John, 
God a mercy gentle Joan; 
Prithee John let me feel, 
Hast thou brough me home a Steel? 



Yes, marry then quoth John, 

And then he took her by the Hand ; 

He led her into a Room, 

Where they cou'd see neither Sun or Moon 

Together John the Door did clap, 

He laid the Steel into her Lap : 

With that Joan began to feel, 

Cuts Foot, quoth she, 'tis a dainty Steel: 

I prithee tell me, and do not lye, 

What are the two Things hang thereby? 

They be the odd Shillings, quoth John, 

That you put last into my Hand: 

202 



JOHN AND JOAN. 

If I had known so much before, 

I wou'd have giv'n thee two Shillings more.* 



* John and Joan, strictly speaking, is a variant of three stories 
quoted earlier on in this volume, (The Instrument, The Timorous 
Fiancee and The Enchanted Ring), inasmuch as all contain the same 
idea the possibility of purchasing a membrum virile. At the same 
time, our ballad has a totally different setting, the maid in this case 
obtaining her first knowledge from the actions of others. 



THE HUSBAND AS DOCTOR.* 



Of a young squire of Champagne who, when 
he married, had never mounted a Christian crea- 
ture much to his wife's regret. And of the method 
her mother found to instruct him, and how the 
said squire suddenly wept at a great feast that was 
made shortly after he had learned how to perform 
the carnal act as you will hear more plainly 
hereafter. 



"TPlS well known that in the province of Cham- 
*pagne one is sure to encounter heavy and dull- 
witted persons which hath seemed strange to 
many, seeing that the district is so near to the 
country of Mischief, t Many stories could be told 
of the stupidity of the Champenois, but this pres- 
ent will suffice. 

There dwelt in this province a young man, an 
orphan, who at the death of his father and mother 
had become rich and powerful. He was stupid, 
ignorant, and disagreeable, but hard-working, and 
knew well how to take care of himself and his af- 

* Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelless Translated for the first time 
into English by Robert B. Douglas (One Hundred Merrie and De- 
lightsome Stories), Paris: Charles Carrington. Also French Text, 
Paris: Gamier Freres, n.d. 

t Probably Picardy or Lorraine. Note by R. B. Douglas. 
204 



THE HUSBAND AS DOCTOR. 

fairs, and for this reason many persons even 
people of condition were willing to give him 
their daughter in marriage. 

One of these damsels, above all others, pleased 
the friends and relations of our Champenois be- 
cause of her beauty, goodness, riches and so forth. 
They told him 'twas time he married. 

"Thou art now three-and-twenty years of 
age," said they, "and there could not be a better 
time. And thou wilt listen to us, we have sought 
out for thee a fair good damsel who seemeth to us 
well fitted to thee. It is such an one thou knowest 
her full well." And they told him her name. 

The young man, who cared little whether he 
was married or not, so as he did not lose money by 
it, answered that he would do whatsoe'er they 
wished. 

"Since ye think 'twill be to my advantage," 
said he, "mana'ge the business to the best of your 
ability, for I would follow your advice and in- 
structions." 

"Thou sayest well," said these good folk. "We 
will look and consider as carefully as though the 
matter concerned us or one of our children." 

To cut matters short, a litile while afterwards 
our Champenois was married; but on the first 
night, when he was sleeping with his wife, he, 
never having mounted on any Christian beast, soon 
turned his back to her, and a few poor kisses was 
aught she had of him, but naught on her back. At 
which one may guess his wife was not well pleas- 
ed, albeit she concealed her discontent. 

This unsatisfactory state of affairs endured 
some ten days, and would have endured yet longer 
had not the girl's mother put a stop to it . 

205 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

It should be known that the young man was 
unversed in the mysteries of wedlock, for during 
the lifetime of his parents a tight rein had been 
kept upon him, and, above all things, he had been 
forbidden to play at the beast with two backs,* 
lest he should take too much delight therein, and 
waste all his patrimony. Which was prudent on 
the part of his parents, for he was not a young man 
likely to be loved for his appearance. 

And since he would do naught to anger his 
father and mother, and was not, moreover, of an 
amorous disposition, he had ever preserved his 
chastity, albeit his wife had deprived him of it 
right gladly had she known but how. 

On a certain day the mother of the bride came 
to her daughter, and questioned her as to her hus- 
band's state and condition and the countless other 
questions the bride replied that her husband was a 
good man, and that she did not doubt but that she 
would be happy with him. 

Which answer made the old woman joyous, 
but, since she knew by her own experience that 
there are more things in wedlock than eating and 
drinking, she said to her daughter: 

"Come hither, and tell me, on thy word of 
honour, how he doth acquit himself at night?" 

When the girl heard this question she was so 
vexed and shamed that she might not answer, and 
her eyes were filled with tears. But her mother, 
understanding what meant these tears, said : 



* Faire la bete a deux dos. A recognised slang term for the 
venereal act, used by Rabelais and Shakespeare. Cf. Farmer: Slang 
and itas Analogues (op, cit. supra), and Landes: Glossaire erotique 
de la langue franfaise: Brussels, 1861. 

206 



THE HUSBAND AS DOCTOR. 

"Weep not, my child. Speak me boldly. I am 
thy mother, and it behoveth thee to conceal naught 
from me. Hath he done naught to thee as yet?" 

The poor girl, having partly recovered, and 
being re-assured by her mother's words, ceased her 
tears, but could not yet make reply. Whereupon 
her mother asked again: 

"Speak me boldly and put aside thy grief. 
Hath he done naught to thee yet?" 

In a low voice, mingled with tears, the girl 
replied: 

"On my word, mother, he hath never touched 
me yet, but, save for that, there is no man more 
kind or affectionate." 

"Tell me," quoth the mother, "knowest thou 
if he be properly furnished with all his members? 
Speak boldly if thou dost know." 

"By St. John! He is sound in that respect," 
replied the bride. "I have often, by chance, felt 
his luggage* as I turned to and fro on our bed 
when I could not sleep." 

" 'Tis enough," said the mother. "Leave the 
rest to me. This is what thou must do. In the 
morning thou must feign illness e'en as tho_ugh 
thy soul were about to depart thy body. Thy hus- 
band will, I expect full well, seek me out and bid 
me come to thee, and I will play my part so that 
thy business will soon be settled, for I shall carry 
thy water to a certain doctor, who will give such 
counsel as I order." 



* Denree d'aventure. A recognised erotic term for the male 
genital parts. C.f. Farmer and Landes (op. cit. supra). Denree, pro- 
perly, means a "commodity," which is not far removed from the English 
slang term 'concern." (Farmer.) 

207 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

All was accomplished as arranged, for on the 
morrow, as soon as it was dawn, the girl, who was 
sleeping with her husband, fell to complaining 
and feigning sickness as though a strong fever 
racked her body. 

Her foolish husband was much vexed and as- 
tonished, and knew not what to say or do. He sent 
forthwith for his mother-in-law, who was not long 
in coming. As soon as he saw her he said : 

"Alas! mother! thy daughter is dying!" 

"My daughter?" quoth she. "What doth she 
want?" And while she spoke, she walked to the 
patient's chamber. 

As soon as the mother perceived her daughter, 
she inquired of her as to her trouble, and the girl, 
being well instructed in what she must do, answer- 
ed not at first, but, after a while, said: 

"Mother, I am dying." 

"Please God, thou shalt not die! Take cour- 
age! But how cometh it that thou art fallen ill so 
suddenly?" 

"I know not! I know not!" answered the girl. 
"Thou dost madden me by these questions." 

The mother took the daughter's hand, and 
felt her pulse, her body and her head; then she 
said to her son-in-law: 

"In sooth, she is sorely ill. She is on fire. We 
must find some remedy. Has aught of her water?" 

"That which she made last night is there," 
said one of the attendants. 

"Give it me," said the mother. 

She took the urine, and put it in a proper ves- 
sel, and told her son-in-law that she would show it 
to a physician, that he might know what he might 
do to her daughter to cure her. 

208 



THE HUSBAND AS DOCTOR. 

"For God's sake! spare naught! she said. "I 
have still some money, but I love my daughter bet- 
ter than money." 

"Spare!" said he. "If money can help, I will 
not fail her." 

"When thou goest,* and while she is resting," 
said the mother, "I will go home; but I will re- 
turn as I am needed." 

Now it should be known that the old woman 
on the previous day, when she quitted her daugh- 
ter, had instructed the physician, who was well 
aware of what he must say. So the young man 
carried his wife's water to the physician, and, 
having saluted him, related how sick and suffering 
was his wife. 

"And I have brought some of her water that 
thou mayest judge how sick she is, and the more 
easily cure her," said the young man. 

The physician took the vessel of urine, and; 
turning it about and examining it, said: 

"Thy wife is sore afflicted with illness and in 
peril of death unless succour be forthcoming. Her 
water showeth it." 

"Ah! master, for the love of God, tell me 
what to do, and I will pay thee well canst thou re- 
store her to health and prevent her from dying!" 

"She need not die an thou obeyest my com- 
mands," quoth the physician. "But if thou dost not 
make haste, all the money in the world will not 
save her from death." 

"Tell me, for God's sake, what to do," said the 
other, "and I will do it." 



* The text here is somewhat obscure. Mr. Douglas translates 
"No need to go so fast." 

209 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

"She must have connection with a man or she 
will die," answered the physician. 

"Connection with a man?" said the other. 
"What is that?" 

"It meaneth," continued the doctor, "that 
thou must mount on top of her, and speedly ram 
her three or four times, or more if thou canst; 
otherwise, the great heat which doth consume and 
kill her, will not be extinguished." 

"That will be good for her?" 

"She is a dead woman," answered the physi- 
cian, "an thou do it not and do it quickly." 

"By St. John!" said the other, "I will try 
what I can do." 

With that he went home and found his wife, 
who was groaning and lamenting loudly. 

"How art thou, beloved?" asked he. 

"I die, beloved," answered she. 

"Please God, thou shalt not die," said he. "I 
have conversed with the physician, who hath told 
me what medicine will cure thee." 

And, as he spoke, he fell to undressing, and 
lay down beside his wife, and began to execute in 
clumsy fashion the orders he had received from 
the physician. 

"What dost thou? asked his wife. "Wouldst 
kill me?" 

"Nay, I am about to cure thee," said he. "The 
physician hath assured me." 

And Nature instructing and the patient assist- 
ing, he performed upon her twice or thrice. When 
resting from his labours, much astonished at what 
had befallen, he asked his wife how she was. 

"I am a little better th,an I was hitherto," she 
replied. 

210 



THE HUSBAND AS DOCTOR. 

"God be praised," quoth he. "I hope thou 
wilt get well and that the physician hath spoken 
truly." 

And with that he fell to again. 

To cut matters short, he performed so well 
that his wife was cured in a few days, whereat he 
was very joyful, as was the mother when she knew 
of it. 

Ever afterwards our Champenois became a 
better fellow than heretofore, and his wife being' 
now restored to health, he one day invited all his 
friends and relatives to dine with him, and also 
the father and mother of his wife, and he served 
good cheer after his own fashion. They drank to 
him, and he drank to them, and he was right good 
company. 

But hear what befell him. In the midst of the 
feast he fell to weeping, which much astonished 
all his friends who were at table with him; and 
they demanded what was the matter, but he could 
not answer for weeping scalding tears. At length 
he spake, saying: 

"I have good cause to weep." 

"By my oath thou hast not!" replied his moth- 
er-in-law. "What aileth thee? Thou art rich and 
powerful and well-housed, and hast good friends, 
nor must thou forget thy fair and good wife, whom 
God brought back to health when she was on the 
verge of the grave. In thinking thou shouldst be 
light-hearted and joyous." 

"Alas!" said he. "Woe is me! My father and 
mother, who both loved me, and who amassed and 
bequeathed me so much wealth, are dead, and by 
my fault, for they died of a fever, and had I well 
touzled* them both when they were ill, as I did 

211 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

my wife, they would still be on their feet." 

There was none at table who, on hearing this, 
would not fain have laughed; nevertheless, all re- 
strained themselves as best they might. The tables 
were removed and each went his way, and the 
young man continued to live with his wife, and, in 
order that she might remain in good health, he 
failed not to tail her pretty often. 



* Touzle or Tousle, in its original sense, meant "to rumple" 
"to pull or mess about." but came in time to signify, in erotic slang, 
the act of "mastering a woman by romping." (Vide Farmer: Slang and 
Analogues.) It belongs to that class of word connoting the sexual act 
which may be described as energetic, as implying a sense of lively 
action and movement. Farmer, under his key-word Ride, gives a 
number of similar terms among them: to belly-bump to bounce; to 
cuddle ; to ferret; to frisk; to fumble; to hug ; to hustle; to jiggle; to 
jumble; to muddle; to niggle; to plough; to rummage; to shake; 
and to tumble. Touzle is Fieldings term for the veneral act. 



212 



THE PRIEST AND THE LABOURER/ 



on a time there dwelt a priest and his 

wife; they had two daughters. The priest 
hired a labourer, and in the spring he made a pil- 
grimage; but before setting out he gave his orders 
to the labourer. 

"See, friend," said the priest, "on my return I 
would find all the garden dug up and the beds set 
out." 

"I hear, little father," answered the labourer. 

The labourer dug so ill that the garden went 
to wrack and ruin, and all the while he enjoyed 
himself. When the priest returned, he went to the 
garden and saw that naught had been done. 

"Ah, friend," asked the priest of the labourer, 
"is it possible that thou knowest not how to dig a 
garden?" 

"Assuredly I know not," answered the labour- 
er. "Had I known I would have done it." 

"Go, then, into the house, and beg of my 
daughters to give thee an iron shovel, and I will 
show thee how to dig." 

The labourer sped to the house and sought the 
daughters. 



* Kruptadia : Heilbronn: Henniger Freres, 1883: Secret Stories 
from the Russian. 

213 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

"Little mistresses," quoth he, "the little father 

orders ye to give me both of ye " 

"Give thee what?" 

"Yet know well he meaneth ye yourself to 

f utter!" 

The priest's daughters fell to abusing the 
labourer. 

"What availeth it to abuse me?" asked the la- 
bourer. "The little father hath ordered ye to yield 
me this at once, for the borders of the garden must 
be dug. An ye believe not me, ask of him your- 
selves." 

One of the daughters straightway ran to the 
steps leading to the house, and cried : 

"Little father! Hast ordered us to give this 
thing to the labourer?" 

"Give it him swiftly! Why keepest him wait- 
ing?" answered the priest. 

"Come, my sister," said the young girl when she 
returned. "There is no help for it. We must give 
it him. So the little father hath ordered." 

Both then went to bed, and the labourer put the 
matter through most expeditiously. Afterwards, 
he took a shovel from the shed, and ran to the little 
father in the garden. The priest showed him how 
to dig the borders of the garden, and he himself re- 
turned to the house to his wife. But what saw he? 
His daughters in tears. 

"Why weep ye?" 

"How should we not weep, little father," 
answered they, "when thou thyself hast ordered 
the labourer to make mock of us?" 

"To make mock of ye?" 

"Didst not order us to yield it to him?" 

214 



THE PRIEST AND THE LABOURER. 

"And why not? I ordered ye to give him a 
shovel." 

"A shovel? He hath dishonoured us! He hath 
taken our virginity!" 

When the priest heard this, he fell into a 
mighty rage, seized a stake, and ran headlong to 
the kitchen garden. The labourer perceived the 
priest approaching with a stake. Wretchetl mis- 
chance! He hurled the shovel from him and took 
to his heels. The priest sped after him, but the 
labourer was the more agile, and vanished from 
the sight of the priest. 

Then went the priest in search of his labourer, 
and in his search he encountered a peasant. 

"Good day, friend," said the priest. 

"Good day, little father," answered the 
peasant. 

"Hast encountered my labourer?" 

"I know not. A lad passed me, running 
swiftly." 

" 'Tis he! Come with me, little peasant, and 
aid me in the search. I will pay thee well." 

They set out together; not far off they came 
upon a strolling player. 

"Good day, strolling player," said the priest. 

"Good day, little father," answered the stroll- 
ing player. 

"Hast met a lad just now?" 

"Yea, little father. There was one who went 
running past me." 

" 'Tis he! Aid us in the search. I will pay 
thee well." 

"Willingly, little father." 

And the three set forth together. 

Now the labourer had run to the village, and 

215 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

having clad himself in other garments, went him- 
self to meet the priest. And the priest failed to re- 
cognise him, but questioned him, saying: 

"Tell me, friend hast seen a labourer on the 
road?" 

"I have seen one, and he ran to the village." 

"Come, friend, aid us in the search." 

"Willingly, little father." 

All four then went in search of the priest's 
labourer; they entered the village; they walked; 
they walked unto eventide; naught befell. Dark- 
ness descended. Where might they pass the night? 

Anon they came to a house where dwelt a 
widow, and they begged leave of her to pass the 
night therein. 

"Good people," replied the widow, "there 
will be a deluge this night in my house. I warn ye 
of it beforehand. Ye will be drowned." 

Howbeit, she did not refuse them indeed, 
she might not and she let them enter for the 
night. 

(Now the widow's lover had promised to 
visit her that night.) 

All four then entered the house and betook 
themselves to bed. The priest, thinking perchance 
there might be a deluge, laid hold of a great 
through, set it upon a shelf, and put himself to 
sleep in the trough. 

"If there be a deluge," thought he to himself, 
"I shall float upon the top of it in the through." 

The strolling player laid himself down by the 
hearth, his head in the ashes; the peasant reclined 
on the bench behind the table; and the priest's 
labourer stretched himself on the stool by the win- 
dow. Hardly had they lain down ere they fell into 

216 



THE PRIEST AND THE LABOURER. 

deep slumber, excepting the labourer, who alone 
slept not. He it was who heard the lover of the 
mistress of the house come beneath the window 
and knock, saying: 

"Open, my beloved." 

The labourer arose, opened the window, and 
spake in low tones, saying: 

"Beloved, thou comest at an ill moment. 
Strangers are within my house, passing the night 
therein. Come thou the next night." 

"I go, beloved," answered the lover. "But 
lean thou from the window that we may embrace." 

The labourer turned his posterior to the win- 
dow an thrust out his backside. The lover em- 
braced it with rapture. 

"I go adieu, my beloved. Fare thee well. I 

will return to-morrow night." 

"Go, loved one. I will wait thee, but, as a 
parting gift, give me thy yard, which I will hold 
for several moments in my hand. 'Twill console 
me somewhat." 

The lover drew forth his yard from his draw- 
ers and thrust it towards the window. 

"Take it, beloved," quoth he. "Amuse thy- 
self." 

The labourer took the yard in his hand, cares- 
sed it once or twice, drew his knife from his pock- 
et, and, with one blow, cut off the member and 
testicles of the lover. The latter uttered a great 
cry, and sped amain to his home. The labourer 
shut the window, sat down on the bench, and made 
a noise with his mouth, as though eating. The, 
peasant heard the noise and awoke, saying: 

"What eatest thou, comrade?" 

217 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

"I have found a morsel of sausage on the ta- 
ble, but I cannot eat it all, for 'tis uncooked." 

"No matter if it be uncooked, comrade. Give 
me a portion to sample." 

"There is not much, friend, but take what is 
left and eat." And he gave him the cut-off yard. 

The peasant fell to chewing the 'sausage' with 
fine appetite. He chewed and chewed, but could 
not swallow the morsel. 

"What is wrong with it, comrade?" he asked. 
" Tis impossible to eat it. Tis so tough." 

"Put it in the frying-pan, roast it, and then 
thou wilt be able to eat it." 

The peasant arose, went towards the frying- 
pan, and crammed the 'sausage' right 'twixt the 
teeth of the strolling player. He held it there; he 
held it there for a long while, making experiment 
with it. 

"Nay," said he, at length. "The 'sausage? 
hath not grown tender. The fire hath done 
naught." 

"Cease to wrestle with the thing," said the 
labourer. "The mistress of the house will hear and 
will scold us. Thou hast scattered the fire over the 
frying-pan. Look! sprinkle it with water that the 
woman may perceive naught." 

"But where may I get the water?" 

"Piss o'er it. Better extinguish the fire than 
have to go forth into the courtyard." 

The peasant had great desire to piss, and he 
pissed forthwith upon the face of the strolling 
player. And when the strolling player felt the 
water, coming whence he knew not, fall right in 
his mouth, he said: 

"The deluge hath arrived!" 

218 



THE PRIEST AND THE LABOURER. 

And he fell to crying with all the strength of 
his lungs : 

"Little father! The deluge! The deluge!" 
The priest heard the voice of the strolling 
player, and, half asleep, sought to cast himself, 
together with the trough, straight into the water, 
but instead he fell heavily on the ground, bruising 
himself all over. 

"Ah! my God!" he cried. "When a child fal- 
leth, the good Lord placeth a cushion under it, but 
when an old man tumbeth, the devil putteth a har- 
row beneath him. Behold me all sore and bruised. 
Of a certainly I shall ne'er find that brigand of a 
labourer." 

Quoth the labourer to the priest: 
"Seek him no more, I counsel thee. Go home, 
and may the Lord go with thee. It were better for 
thy health." 



219 



EXCURSUS TO THE PRIEST AND THE 
LABOURER. 



The foregoing story reminds one the device 
employed by "The Youth who would Futter his 
Father's Wives," (The Thousand Nights and a 
Night: Supplemental Nights, vol. 6: Translated 
by Sir Richard F. Burton.) In the latter case the 
father sets out on a journey, but, having forgotten 
his shoes, instructs his son, who is accompanying 
him for a short way, to return and fetch them. The, 
youth goes back, informs his father's wives that 
they are to sleep with him in his parent's absence, 
and, when they are incredulous, shouts to his 
father in the distance: 

"O my papa, one of them or the two of 
them?" 

The father, referring, of course, to his shoes, 
shouts back: 

"The two! The two!" 

The wives are convinced by this remark, as 
were the virgin daughters of the priest in our story 
from Kruptadia. We shall reserve further extracts 
from this Oriental narrative for a subsequent vol- 
ume of Anthologia Rarissima, the plot and details 
being inappropriate to our present theme. 



220 



THE TWO LOVERS AND THE TWO 
SISTERS.* 



T will tell you, therefore, that in those days when 
* Duke Ranier of Anjou, envious of the peace and 
the wisdom of that divine prince, King Don Al- 
fonso, was driven from Naples and from the King- 
dom, it pleased him to tarry for a certain season in 
Florence. There were, amongst the other French- 
men who were involved in the ruin and ship- 
wreck of his fortunes, two valiant and accomplish- 
ed cavaliers, the one named Filippo de Lincurto 
and the other Ciarlo d'Amboia. 

Now these two, although they were very pru- 
dent and endowed with many virtues, were inclin- 
ed nevertheless, being young and given over to 
love, to leave the burden of disaster, and the cares 
thereof as well, to him who was especially con- 
cerned with the same, that is, to the duke. 

It happened that in their daily rides through 
Florence, Filippo fell deepty in love with a grace- 
ful and very lovely young lady of noble parentage, 
and wife to a citizen of repute; and while he 
strove incessantly to win her, it chanced that Ciaj- 
lo, as he ranged another part of the city, became 



*Masuccio: The Novellino: Translated into English by W. G. 
Waters: Lawrence and Bullen: London, 1894: vol. 2, Fortyfirst Novel. 

221 



THE LOVERS AND THE SISTERS. 

enamoured of a sister of Filippo's lady-love, who 
abode unmarried in her father's house. He, un- 
witting of this kinship, made up his mind, albeit 
he deemed her passing fair, to keep his passion 
within sober limits, forasmuch as he was well ver- 
sed in the strife of love and aware that young dam- 
sels are wont to love lightly and without constancy. 
Filippo, finding that his fair lady was discreet and 
of good understanding, and being also fully pre- 
pared to become her servant, resolved to give her 
his love entirely; on which account the lady, real- 
izing his humour and considering his many and 
praiseworthy parts, likewise determined to recom- 
pense him with all the love of her heart, and began 
to favour him with her kindness in such wise that 
he saw she was the only woman in the world who 
knew how to love. 

She, certes, would have let him taste at once 
the supreme fruit of love had she not been restrain- 
ed therefrom by the continual presence of her hus- 
band; so, having given Filippo assurance, both by 
letter and by messages, that she was firmly set in 
this purpose, the two lovers longed beyond aught 
else for the time when the husband would take his 
departure to Flanders in the galley which was now 
expected at any hour to touch at Pisa. 

While they thus abode in pleasureable expec- 
tation, Duke Ranier was obliged to return to 
France, whereat both the cavaliers felt mightily 
aggrieved, and especially that one of the two who 
loved and likewise was loved in return ; neverthe- 
less, being bound by necessity, they took their de- 
parture, snared as they were in amorous toils. 

Filippo swore to his lady that no obstacle, 
however great, should debar him from returning, 

222 



THE LOVERS AND THE SISTERS. 

and that, come what might, he as a loyal lover 
would never forsake her. Having consoled her 
with other speeches yet more affectionate, he and 
his companion set forth; and after his return it 
come to pass in the course of time, either through 
came to pass in the course of time, either, through 
that Filippo, albeit he still remembered the lady 
left behind, let the ardent flames of his passion 
grow colder every day. He not only forgot his pro- 
mise to return, but beyond this neglected to answer 
any of the many letters writ to him by the lady. 

On this account she, perceiving how she was 
well-nigh forsaken by this lover once so ardent, 
was stricken with such cruel grief thereanent that 
she almost lost her wits; but, calling to mind the 
stainless virtue of the cavalier, she could not per- 
suade herself that so noble a heart could harbour 
such inhumanity. However, when she remember- 
ed his latest words both written and sent to her by 
the mouth of their trusted messenger, she deliber- 
ated how she might by a new and suggestive plan 
stimulate the virtue of her lover and thereby make 
a final trial on behalf of her passion. 

Thus she caused to be made by a skilled mas- 
ter a ring of gold, wrought very finely, and in this 
she had set a counterfeit diamond, most manifestly 
false, letting engrave round the ring itself the 
words, 'La ma za batani?'* This, after shp. had 
wrapped it in fine cambric, she sent to her Filippo 
by a certain young man of Florence, who knew 
how things stood with her, and who was going to 
France after his own affairs, charging him that he 
should himself deliver it to Filippo with no far- 

*St. Matthew, 27, 46: "Why hast thou forsaken me?" 
223 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

ther words than these: "She who loves you and 
you only sends you this, and implores you to let her 
have a fitting answer thereto." 

In due time the envoy with his offering and 
his messages arrived at Filippo's house and was 
joyfully received ; but after the cavalier had mark- 
ed with amazement what was the quality of the 
ring, and what the motto graven thereupon, he 
went about for several days pondering over the 
purport of the same, and finding himself unable to 
draw from it the true meaning, he determined to 
show it to Ciarlo and to divers other gentlemen of 
the court; but these, taken singularly and alto- 
gether, what though they used all their wits, were 
unable to his the mark. 

Finally its meaning was fathomed by Duke 
John, who was a gentleman of great discretion, al- 
beit more fortunate in advising others than in 
reaping victory in the many enterprises he under- 
took. What it said was this : 

"False diamond, why hast thou forsaken 
me?" 

When Filippo heard this sentence he saw at 
once how the lady had most justly and prudently 
reproved him for his lover's unfaith, and began to 
consider how he might by a device of the same sort 
answer so graceful a proposition and repay so 
heavy a debt of love. So, being minded to conclude 
the matter, he went to his dear friend Ciarlo, be- 
seeching him by the friendship there was between 
them, that he would go with him to Florence for 
the reason aforesaid. 

And albeit Ciarlo found this somewhat hard 
at first, he ended by consenting to oblige so dear a 
friend, deeming besides that he might peradvent- 

224 



THE LOVERS AND THE SISTERS. 

ure thereby compass some pleasure for himself 
and for the damsel he loved. Thereupon they set 
forth, and having duly come to Florence, they be- 
gan at the first chance to walk past the houses of 
their ladies in order to signify their presence; and 
Filippo soon sent word by his wonted messenger 
to his lady how he had sufficiently understood the 
message which the ring sent by her had borne, and 
how he knew no other method of disproving her 
false opinion of him save by bearing witness for 
himself, wherefore it behoved her to grant him an 
interview meet for the occasion. 

The gracious lady, who with her sister had 
rejoiced amain over the return of their lovers, and 
had deliberated what course should be taken, as 
soon as she heard this kindly message, so manifest- 
ly springing from love, was filled with such joy 
that she felt almost jealous of herself, and so as to 
lose no more time over the matter she sent back a 
brief answer to Filippo, bidding him wait with his 
companion before the door of her house next 
evening. 

Wherefore Filippo, as soon as the hour had 
come, betook himself merrily with his friend Ciar- 
lo to the spot which had been named, and there 
they caught sight of the lady, who gave them most 
gladsome reception. After she had made a trusty 
maid-servant of hers open to them the door and 
bring them in, she likewise gave them to under- 
stand, by the mouth of this same woman, that the 
only way in which the thing she so much desired 
could be brought about would be that, while she 
should be taking her pleasure with Filippo, Mes- 
ser Ciarlo should go and strip naked and lie down 
in the bed beside her husband, in order that, if by 

225 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

chance the husband should wake and feel Ciarlo 
in bed, he might believe that his wife was still 
there. 

Unless he should consent to do this, they 
would all run great peril of their honour and of 
their lives as well ; wherefore she besought them to 
put in practice the timely stratagem which she had 
provided, or else withdraw from the place forth- 
with. 

As soon as Ciarlo heard this request, what 
though he would have gone down to hell to serve 
his comrade, he was conscious that, even if the bus- 
iness should come to a fortunate issue, it would be 
to him a great loss of good fame were he to be 
found there stark naked ; wherefore he refused al- 
togheter to go on such service in such fashion, de- 
claring, however, that if he might go clad and car- 
rying his sword in his hand he would willingly do 
what they wanted. 

Now Filippo had travelled all the way from 
France to foregather with his lady-love, and, in 
considering the difficult parts to which had come, 
he perceived that his friend was speaking and that 
the lady was acting with good show of reason; so, 
after many and divers arguments, for the reason 
that the lady remained firmly fixed in her purpose 
and that he himself was more than ever fired with 
amorous desire, he besought Ciarlo almost with 
tears that, by the bonds of friendship, he would 
consent to oblige them, what though the thing it- 
self might be unseemly. 

Therefore Ciarlo, seeing how great was the 
passion which possessed his friend, and to what a 
pass the affair had come, determined that he would 

226 



THE LOVERS AND THE SISTERS. 

if need be meet death itself rather than he wanting 
in service to Filippo. 

Thereupon the waiting-woman taking Ciarlo 
by the hand led him in the dark to the lady, and 
she, having given him kindly welcome, took him 
into her own chamber, and there bade him take off 
all his clothes and get into the bed, keeping his 
sword at hand. Then she softly bade him be of 
good heart and have patience, for she would soon 
return and release him. This done, she went full of 
joy to her Filippo, and having led him into an- 
other room they reaped the full and delightful 
fruit of their desire. 

Now when Ciarlo had waited, not two, but 

four hours, he began to think that it was full time 
for the lady, or at least for his trusty comrade, to 
come and set him free; so, hearing no one coming, 
and perceiving that it was near daybreak, he said 
to himself: 

"If these others, all afire with love, feel no 
concern at having left me here to play a fool's part, 
it is now full time for me to take thought of myself 
and of my honour." 

Having softly got out of bed, him seeming that 
the lady's husband was asleep, he went with the 
sheet over his shoulders to try to escape, but was 
hugely annoyed at finding the chamber door secu- 
rely locked outside; and, not knowing where the 
windows were, nor on what place they looked, he 
went back to the bed in a fury. 

He heard sounds which told him that the 
other occupant of the bed was awake and moving, 
and, though he was pricked both by fear and cu- 
riosity, he kept aloof and spake not a word. Whi'e 
he was thus troubled in mind he marked through 

227 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

the fissures of the windows that it was now broad 
day, and, fearing amain lest he should he espied by 
his bed-partner, he turned his back, and, gathering 
himself together and keeping his sword ready for 
his needs, he resolved to leave whatever might be- 
fall him to Fortune, and kept still, mightily 
troubled in mind. 

Before long he heard sounds of the fires being 
kindled throughout the house, and the lady hastly 
steps of the servants as they ran to fetch water; 
wherefore he determined at the last rather to die 
as beseemed a good cavalier than to be found there 
stark naked and making shift for a woman; so, 
having leapt out of bed with his drawn sword, he 
went to the door, and, as he was using all his force 
to open the same, he became aware how someone 
was unfastening it from without 

He drew back somewhat, and then saw enter 
Filippo, laughing heartily and holding the lady 
by him in merry wise, albeit they saw he was burst- 
ing with rage. But when the lady perceived that 
he was all bemused, and unwitting where he was, 
she took him by the hand and said to him: 

"My good sir, by the sincere love I bear tow- 
ards you, and also by that which you have towards 
certain others, I will assure myself that I may 
speak to you concerning a matter which intimacy 
such as ours will allow us to discuss. I know not 
whether Nature may have failed to bestow upon 
you French gentlemen that which she always gives 
to the lower animals. I mean to say that I know of 
no male beast, whether wild or tame, which, when 
under the sway of love, will not recognise the fe- 
male by her odour. And you, forsook, a wise and 
discreet gentleman, who have come hither all the 

228 



THE LOVERS AND THE SISTERS. 

way from France on account of love, can it be that 
your frozen nature is so sluggish that, when Fortu- 
ne lets you spend the whole of a long night by the 
side of her for whom you have shown such great 
tokens of love, you failed to scent out who she 
was?" 

Then, having led him up to the bedside, she 
let him see and know clearly that it was her sister 
and no one else who had lain beside him during 
the night which was just passed. 

When he perceived this thing the cavalier was 
not a little ashamed of himself, but finally all four 
laughed and joked so merrily that they could 
scarce stand upright on their feet; and because of 
the pass to which things had come, it seemed meet 
to all that, for the setting right of the fault afore- 
said, they should once more divide in pairs. 

Whereupon Ciarlo, having got back into bed, 
plucked the fresh flower and the earliest fruit of 
the goodly garden which fell to his lot, and the 
two friends remained there, each taking delight 
with his own lady, until the husband came back 
from western parts. 



229 



THE BURNED YARD.* 



A peasant had a daughter who said unto him: 
-^- "Little father, Vannka would fain futter me." 
"Ah! thou fool!" quoth the peasant. "Why give 
thyself to a stranger? We will futter thee right 
well ourselves." 

He took an iron stud, warmed it in the stove, 
and planted it right in her coynte, in such fashion 
that she could not piss for three months. 

Vannka encountered the young girl and again 
made his proposal. 

"Permit me to futter thee," said he. 

Quoth she : 

"Thou ravest, Vannka, who art sprung from 
the devil. My little father hath futtered me, and 
he hath so scorched my coynte that for three 
months I have not been able to piss." 

"Fear not, simpleton. My yard is cold." 

"Thou liest, Vannka, devil's offspring. Let 
me touch it." 

"Take it, then." 

She took his yard in her hand and cried: 

"Ah! wretched devil! thou seest well 'tis 
warm! Dip in the water!" 



*Kruptadia: Heilbronn: Henninger Freres, 1883: vol. 1: Secret 
Stones from tht Russian. 

230 



THE BURNING YARD. 

Vannka dipped his yard in the water and 
whistled with pain. 

"See!" quoth the girl. "It hisseth! I told 
thee 'twas burning, and thou didst deceive me, 
thief!" 

And she would not let herself be futtered by 
Vannka. 



231 



TAKE TIME BY THE FORELOCK.* 



Of a young wife who was made a fool of by 
her old husband. 



A native of Florence, already old, espoused a 
^*- young maid, whom the matrons had instruct- 
ed to resist the first of her husband on the wedding 
night, and to yield herself as reluctanly as possible. 
She refused, therefore, point-blank, to accede to 
his desires. 

The husband, 'decks cleared for action and 
with all sail furled,' was astonished by this refusal, 
and asked why she would not give way to his wish- 
es. The virgin replied that she had a pain in her 
head; whereupon the husband 'disarmed,' lay 
down on his side, and slept till morn. 

The young wife, when she perceived that her 
husband left her alone, felt remorse in that she had 
followed the counsels of the gossips; she aroused 
her husband, and told him that she no longer had 
a pain in the head. 

"Ah!" quoth the husband. "I, now, have a 



*Les Facfties de Pogge (Poggio) Fhrentin: Translated by Pierre 
des Brandes: Paris: Gamier Freres, n.d. The English rendering is, of 
course, our own. 

232 



TAKE TIME BY THE FORELOCK. 

pain in another part."* And he left his wife 

virgin as before. 

'Tis a good plan, therefore, to accept what 
may be profitable and pleasant when 'tis offered. 



* "The text has a play upon words," says the translator "which 
could be translated if the French words had the same meaning as the 
Latin: Dixit (puella) se non amplius dolere caput. Turn Hie: 'At ego 
nunc doleo caudam.' (The girl said that she no longer had a pain in the 
head. Said the husband: 'But I have a pain in my tail.')" This note, we 
must confess, is a source of some mystification to us, since the relation- 
ship between the French and Latin words is both simple and direct. 
Cauda, of course, is the Latin word for tail: in the erotic sense it des- 
ignates the penis. (CA. Blondeau: Dictionaire erotique latin- f ran false: 
Liseux: Paris, 1885.) The Italians use the word coda in a similar sense. 
Tail, in French, is queue ; in erotic literature it is also a highly common 
term for the membrum virile. (C.f. Landes: Glossaire erotique de la 
langue fran^aise, and Farmer: Slang and its Analogues.) Again, in 
English, tail is a slang synonym either for the penis or the female pu- 
dendum. C.f. Farmer: Slang and its A analogue, who gives numerous 
examples of the use of the word in this sense. We append a few of his 
quotations: (1) Chaucer, Cant. Tales, 1047-8: "For al so siker as cold 
engendreth hayl, A likerous mouth must ban a likerous TLYL." (2) 
Rochester, Poems: "Then pulling out the rector of the females, Nine 
times he hath'd him in their piping tails." (3) Motteux, Rabelais, V., 
xxi.: "They were pulling and hauling the man like mad, telling him 

that it is the most grievious thing in nature for the TAIL to be on 

fire " 



233 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 



EXCURSUS TO TAKE TIME BY THE 
FORELOCK. 



Quoting from Merard de Saint-Just, (Sspie- 
gleries Joyeusetes), Poggio's translator gives a 
variant in verse of the foregoing story. We repro- 
duce it in less ambitious English prose: 

"Pierre the Red, wrapped in his bed-clothes, 
felt himself stimulated by the burning flame of the 
god of love, and he invited his wife to come 
straightway to his arms. It chanced that she was 
praying, and she made reply: 'Wait a while.' And 
whilst her Paters and her Agnus' and her Aves 
were accomplished, Pierre's ardour had had time 
to grow cold. She entered the bed, but the chilled 
husband maintained his pretence. She drew near 
him; he did not budge. 'Beloved, what dost wish? 
I have said my prayers.' 'Good,' quoth Pierre the 
Red. 'But I have grown soft.' " 



234 



FIRST MEETING BETWEEN A YOUTH 
AND HIS FIANCEE.* 



A N old man had a son, a fine lad. Another old 

man had a daughter, a marriageable girl. 
They pictured these two young ones married. 
"Ivanouchka," said the father, "I desire thee to 
marry the daughter of our neighbour; approach 
her and discourse gently and courteously with 
her." 

"Machoutka," said the other old man, "I 
would give thee in marriage to the son of our 
neighbour; seek to meet him and have pleasant 
converse with him." 

These two young persons met in the street and 
greeted each other. 

"Ivanouchka," quoth the young girl, "my 
father hath bade me have pleasant discourse with 
thee." 

"My father hath instructed me likewise," 
answered the youth. 

"What shall we do? Where sleepest thou, 
Ivanouchka?" 

"In the hay." 

"As for me," quoth the girl, "I sleep in the 
coach-house. Come this night to me, and we will 



*Kruptadias Heilbronn: Henninger Freres, 1883: vol. 1: Secret 
Stories from the Russian. 

235 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

hold pleasant converse together." 

Thus it was. During the night Ivanouchka 
went and lay down with Machoutka. 

"Camest thou by the threshing-floor?" asked 
she. 

"Yea. Hast thou seen the heap of dung?" 

"I have seen it." 

"What shall we do now?"* 

"I must see if thou hast a good instrument." 

"Come, look," said he, and undid his drawers. 
"Behold my riches!" 

"Tis too big for me! See how small is 
mine!" 

"Let me see if mine will go in." 

And the youth set himself to make the trial ; 
his yard rose up erect like a stake, and when he 
thrust it in, the young girl cried with all her might: 

"Ah! that hurteth me! How it biteth!" 

"Have no fear. My yard hath not sufficient 
room; for that reason it is so angry." 

"I told thee that there was not sufficient space 
for it." 

"Wait it will stretch." 

Anon, when he made her to feel much plea- 
sure, she said to him: 

"Ah! my little heart! Thy riches are indeed 
worth much money." 

They performed and fell asleep. 

But the girl awoke during the night, and kis- 
sed the backside of the young man, which she took 
for his face. He let her do this to satiety, and the 
girl said to him: 

"Knowest thou, Vania, that thou smellest 
most scurvily!" 

*The young people arc obviously nervous, and are making con- 
versation. 

236 



THE BREAKER OF EGGS.* 



on a time there lived alone in a lodging 

near St. Ives a young man. 'Twas at the time 
when the debate was running high 'twixt the 
monks and the ministers whether 'twere better to 
say: "Blessed are they that have dined well," or, 
"Blessed are they that laugh." The young man 
took but scant interest in these theological discus- 
sions, and devoted his attention to the maid, who 
was a fine enough young thing, though somewhat 
green. He would talk with her cooly and discreet- 
ly, and one day said: 

"Thou art from the country, little friend?" 

"Truly, sir." 

"I was assured of it and shall love thee none 
the less : thou art a good girl and a good house- 
keeper." 

"I thank thee kindly, sir." 

"Well, little friend, since I love thee so much, 
and that thou mayst serve us well, I must e'en tell 
thee, for thine own good profit, of a certain ill that 
befalleth country maids when they come to dwell 
in the town; 'tis that small eggs do grow in their 

*BerooIde de Verville: Le May en de Parvenir: Paris, Gamier 
Freres; also Fantastic Tales or The Way to Attains translated by 
Arthur Machen: Carbonnek, 1890. Our extract is a blend of both ver- 
sions, though we have adhered more closely than Machen to the original 
text. Vide also Excursus to this story. 

237 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

bellies and harden there, so that these poor maids 
have to show their posteriors to the doctor. I would 
grieve shouldst thou come to that, and it shall not 
be so an thou wilt hear me. I will do something for 
thee, and I see that 'tis full time to begin, for, by 
thy colour, I can tell that the eggs are already 
there." 

"Indeed, sir, I am greatly beholden, for truly 
I am not what I was." 

"To-morrow morning I will give thee some- 
thing for this malady." 

When morning came, she went to his chamber 
and he gave her a spoonsful of white hypocras,* 
telling her to go about her house-work and, anon, 
to break her fast on a little dry bread. This treat- 
ment was continued for two or three days, but one 
morning, when her mistress was out of the way, he 
took hold of the maid and, laughing gently, push- 
ed her against the bed as if to look into her mouth. 

"Alas! sir! what wouldst do?" she cried. 

"I shall do thee no ill; I would break an egg 
which is fast hardening." 

She let him do it, and he did it so well that 
he put live flesh in live flesh.f So he finished as soon 
as he had begun, and she found the business so 
much to her liking, although he had cooked her 
somewhat, that she came back again and again to 
have the eggs broken; in sooth, she had wished for 



*An infusion of cinnamon bark, soft almonds, and a little musk 
and amber, in wine sweetened with sugar. The word is probably de- 
rived from Hippocrates, the famous Greek doctor. 



tWe omit the two interjections to be found here in the original 
text, not because they are highly flavoured, but simply because they have 
no bearing on the narrative. Nor do they merit translation in a note. 

238 



THE BREAKER OF EGGS. 

a belly in which one might break eggs for an 
hundred years without doing aught else. 

One day she loitered over long at this pleasant 
pursuit, and her mistress fell to scolding her when 
she descended, saying: 

"Thou sly wench! Thou hast been in mischief 
with that man above! Idiot! Little hussy! What 
hast been about up there?" 

"Naught, madam. Be not wroth; 'tis as I 
shall tell thee." 

"Thou hast been after no good with that man 
above." 

"Nay, madam, thou dost him wrong; he is 
the most honest man in the world. I had eggs in 
my belly, and he broke them for me." 

"Eggs,thou slut! what eggs?" 

"Behold, madam, if 'tis not so; I will lift my 
smock; thou canst see my front part, which is yet 
all damp with the white of the eggs, which came 
out when he broke them." 



239 



EXCURSUS TO THE BREAKER OF EGGS. 



Le Moyen de Parvenir of Beroalde de Ver- 
ville, Canon of St. Gatien at Tours, once a Huge- 
not, then a Catholic, finally "neither one nor the 
other,"* is a work little known to the English 
reader, be he studentor bibliophile. The cause is 
not far to seek; no complete and unexpurgated 
English translation of this much censured book ex- 
ists. Machen's rendering, while claiming to be the 
first in our language, is in no sense full and literal, 
although free and full-flavoured; the translator, as 
he admits in his humourous preface, "has been 
forced, much to his sorrow, to weed out some 
strongly-scented flowers from this Canonical Gar- 
den." His text, indeed, shows many notable omis- 
sions, in particular the more licentious asides and 
interjections which have no actual bearing on the 
stories; further, there are sundry additions not 
found in the old French text "odd scraps from 
his own workshop," as Machen terms them. 

For the student, then, there are: Machen's 
delightful (but partial) translation, limited to 
500 numbered copies and now a rare book,t and 

*Dissertation de Bernard de la Monnoye sur Le Moyen de Par- 
venir. 

fAn experienced auctioneer of books recently told us that until 
December last he had never met with a copy. Strangely enough, two 
copies were sold in a week of that month, one, in every respect as clean 

240 



EXCURSUS. 

numerous editions in old French, some expur- 
gated, and all difficult of understanding where the 
average English reader is concerned. As we note 
in the preface to Garnier's latest issue, the work, 
for the greater part, "is an enigma tp modern read- 
ers and contains a crowd of obscurities it would 

need volume after volume to explain and comment 
upon everything that calls for explanation and 
comment." 

The Way to Attain or The Right Way with 
Women (the title of de Verville's book has suffer- 
ed various translations) would seem to have a dual 
personality; one: a clear-cut collection of stories, 
witty, realistic, free, Rabelaisian, or obscene as you 
choose to term them; another: the same stories, en- 
meshed in a mass of innuendo, obscure sayings, li- 
centious and scatalogical asides, and sometimes 
almost meaningless phraseology. The trouble is 
to separte the grain from the chaff, the stories from 
the irrelevant verbiage not that the latter is not 
often highly entertaining. Bernard de la Mon- 
noye, in his Dissertation (cit. sup.), bears out our 
criticism when explaining the plan of the book. 
"The author supposes a sort of general banquet," 
he writes, "where, without regard for rank or de- 
gree, he introduces persons of every kind and age, 
scallawags for the most part, who, with no object 
but their, own amusements, talk with the utmost 
freedom, and passing almost imperceptibly from 
subject to subject, cause the stories to be lost to 
sight. In fact, they are so jumbled up in the book 
that one is hard put to find them " 

and perfect as when printed ^over thirty yars ago, realising 4-1 5s. We 
believe that a few extra copies on large paper still exist, but the book- 
sellers ask a prohibitive price for them. 

241 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

Both extracts from The Way to Attain given 
in this voume (Coypeau and His Thread and The 
Breaker of Eggs) are told without interruption in 
the original French text, but each is introduced in 
the most haphazard fashion, preceded and follow- 
ed by a veritable welter of inconsequent remarks; 
if Machen found it necessary to weed out the most 
strongly scented flowers from the Canonical gar- 
den, the student will find it equally necessary to 
dig before he finds the best. 

There are other good things, however, besides 
the stories in The Way to Attain. While many of 
the asides and interjections are gross, vulgar, and, 
seemingly, pointless, others show a pretty and pun- 
gent wit. The canon is for ever having a thrust at 
his cloth, the monks, and the nuns, and some of his 
criticisms are woth repeating: 

"Where there are no monks there can be no 
shamelessness." 

"None sit more at their ease than monks, 
ministers, and consecrated folk, who, in the place 
of keeping the holy orders that have been given 
them, make them into ordure, and leaving the or- 
ders of God take the orders of the devil, who giv- 
eth them grace to be more lewd and whorish than 
other men." 

"The women that frequent the abodes of 

churchmen are not their wives, they are first 

maids, then mates, then mistresses." 

"It is better to have in one's house a wench 
with whom one can disport theologically than to 
go about wandering from pillar to post like a high- 
toby, and run the risk of getting a nip, like Cornu, 
who sighed as he lay a-dying of the pox: 'Now I 
begin to appreciate the beauties of domesticity.' " 

242 



EXCURSUS. 

"Once on a time he was prebendary of Char- 
tres, but he left his stall to marry a pretty lass, and 
the morning after the wedding, as they lay in bed, 
he said to her: 'Now, sweetheart, thou dost see how 
well I love thee, for I left my fair prebend that I 
might have thee.' She replied : 'Then thou wast a 
fool; thou shouldst have kept thy prebend, and had 

me also.' It would appear that she knew that 

some canons are given to waggery." 

"Such cloisterlings, who love not women, are 
always ready to fish up some ancient, stinking 
heresy under the pretence of discoursing against 
the Reformation, talking of vices they impute to 
others, the which are more tolerable than their 

own It is better to keep a wench than to trouble 

the peace of Christendom, and to do the work is 
true godliness, which is the reason why bishops are 

called fathers-in-God, fathers-in-God sounds 

better han fathers-in-law. And they are certainly 
godly, that is happy; for happy, thrice happy is the 
father who hath not the trouble of feeding his 
children." 

"He was as liberal as our bishop,who had 
rather give a crown to a wench than a groat to a 
poor man." 

"Assuredly she is a strumpet. I saw her talk- 
ing to the curate of St. Paul's, who had promised 
his rector to be discreet, and run no more after the 
wenches, or at least that he would abstain during 
and on Easter Monday he spoke to his woman, and 
the parson saw him. When they met he told him 
of it, saying: 'I saw thee speaking to a wench. 
Where is thy shame? Canst not refrain, at least 
during the holy season?' 'Pardon,' he replied, 'I 

243 



THE WAY OF A VIRGIN. 

did but make an appointment for next week.' ' 

We have quoted sufficiently to show that 
amid this welter of words there is fruit worth the 
plucking. The general tone of the work, however, 
is coarse; if the canon desired to refer to what is 
not usually mentioned in the most Catholic of as- 
semblies, he did so in the crudest language. To our 
age the grossness of his obscenity seems unneces- 
sary; out of place; unpardonable. Is it so? The 
conversational atmophere of a present-day smok- 
ingroom would have made de Verville blush. The 
old canon wrote as men in those times spoke; we 
of today write not as we speak, but as we think we 
ought to speak. It is this pitiful hypocrisy which 
blinds us to the fact that in Le Moyen de Parvenir 
we have some of the brightest tales and sayings 
ever penned by human hand. 



FINIS. 



244 



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